U.S., U.K., and Gulf Partners Conduct Multinational AOMSW Exercise

By U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs | July 29, 2021

ARABIAN GULF – U.S. naval forces completed a multilateral joint and combined air operations in support of maritime surface warfare (AOMSW) live-fire exercise with the United Kingdom, Kingdom of Bahrain, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, State of Kuwait, and United Arab Emirates in the Arabian Gulf, July 18-22.

This exercise marks the second multi-national AOMSW exercise in two months. AOMSW, formerly known as maritime air support, allows for rapid deployment of capabilities and encompasses war-at-sea, armed reconnaissance, air interdiction, strike coordination, and counter-fast attack craft/fast inshore attack craft in defense of maritime assets, which require increased integration between the air and surface, and movement of maritime forces.

"This Arabian Gulf-wide, week-long exercise, which included multiple AOMSW events, truly highlighted the coalition's ability to integrate and strike targets as a team." said Commodore Christopher Gilbertson, commander of Task Force 55. "We had USAF F-15s under the control of Marine Corps joint tactical controllers, embarked on U.S. Navy warships, sailing alongside a Royal Navy Frigate in company with USCG cutters, all supported by U.S. Army combat cameramen, and executed integrated events with Naval Forces of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the UAE."

The U.S. Navy routinely integrates surface and aviation units to train and enhance coalition forces. Previous exercises incorporated U.S. Air Force AC-130 gunships, U.S. Army attack helicopters, Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs), aircraft from the United Arab Emirates Joint Aviation Command, and other regional partners.

“Interoperability exercises with our regional partners and Coast Guard counterparts are essential to our ability to counter dynamic maritime threats in the region,” said Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces. “Every opportunity to operate together as a team benefits our home nations and this region’s future security. I have been incredibly impressed with the skillset of each nation’s service members as they seamlessly join our forces to ensure a free and open maritime domain.”

Participating in the exercise were guided-missile destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG 57); amphibious transport dock USS San Antonio (LPD 17); dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD 50); guided-missile cruisers USS Shiloh (CG 67) and USS Monterey (CG 61); patrol coastal ships USS Whirlwind (PC 11), USS Typhoon (PC 5), USS Tempest (PC 2), and USS Chinook (PC 9); and US Coast Guard Cutters USCGC Baranof (WPB 1318), USCGC Maui (WPB 1304), USCGC Monomoy (WPB 1326), USCGC Wrangell (WPB 1332), USCGC Charles Moulthrope (WPC 1141), and USCGC Robert Goldman (WPC 1142); along with US Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft of the 494th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron and elements of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit; Royal Navy frigate HMS Montrose (F236); United Arab Emirates Naval Vessel Al Jahili (P 175); Kuwaiti Coast Guard Ship 307 Dasman; the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; and the Kingdom of Bahrain.

The 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area that includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The expanse is comprised of 20 countries and includes three chokepoints, critical to the free flow of global commerce.