Interagency Delegation Visits Unmanned & AI Task Force in Bahrain

By U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs | November 18, 2022

MANAMA, Bahrain --

Senior U.S. government officials from the Department of Defense and Department of State visited U.S. 5th Fleet headquarters in Bahrain, Nov. 18, to learn about the ongoing integration of unmanned systems and artificial intelligence across the fleet.

Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Dr. Colin Kahl visited with Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara A. Leaf and Dana Stroul, the deputy assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East, as well as other U.S. officials.

U.S. 5th Fleet’s unmanned systems and artificial intelligence task force, Task Force 59, displayed unmanned surface vessels on the pier after a tour of the Robotics Operations Center.

“The pace of technological change offers tremendous opportunities for upgrading how the U.S. military contributes to security and stability in the Middle East, and how we advance cooperation with partners,” said Dr. Kahl. “Task Force 59 is doing incredible work innovating and leading coalitions that ensure freedom of navigation in some of the world’s most critical waterways.”

In addition, the group toured RFA Cardigan Bay (L3009), a British Royal Navy vessel stationed in Bahrain in support of the United Kingdom’s regional naval headquarters. Royal Navy headquarters in the Middle East are co-located with U.S. 5th Fleet’s, reflecting strong collaboration among longstanding maritime partners.

The interagency delegation also visited U.S. 5th Fleet’s headquarters for discussions on regional maritime operations with Vice Adm. Brad Cooper and his staff. Cooper commands U.S. 5th Fleet as well as two major multinational maritime partnerships, which include the Combined Maritime Forces and International Maritime Security Construct.

The U.S. 5th Fleet operating area includes 21 countries, the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, parts of the Indian Ocean and three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, Bab al-Mandeb and Suez Canal.