IMSC Task Force Completes Monthly Naval Exercise in Arabian Gulf

By U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs | February 23, 2023

MANAMA, Bahrain --

The operational task force for an 11-nation naval coalition called the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC) completed a monthly naval exercise in the Arabian Gulf, Feb. 22, involving ships and aircraft from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United States.

Coalition Task Force (CTF) Sentinel completed exercise Sentinel Shield with Royal Bahrain Naval Force ship RBNS Al Manama (P50), Royal Saudi Naval Forces ship HMS Hitteen (PCG 616) and a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft from the U.S. Navy.

“I’m pleased with all we are able to accomplish,” said United Kingdom Royal Navy Commodore Ben Aldous who leads CTF Sentinel. “We are stronger together. Operating as a coalition highlights our collective commitment to regional maritime security and stability.”

During the exercise, participating ships conducted maneuvers while the P-8A Poseidon demonstrated its airborne surveillance capability.

“This exercise allowed CTF Sentinel’s ships and aircraft to demonstrate interoperability within our multinational coalition,” said Royal Saudi Naval Forces Capt. Assem Al Amri, CTF Sentinel’s planning director.

IMSC was formed in July 2019 in response to increased threats to freedom of navigation for merchant mariners transiting international waters in the Middle East. CTF Sentinel was established four months later to deter state-sponsored malign activity and reassure the merchant shipping industry in the Bab al-Mandeb and Strait of Hormuz.

The maritime coalition includes Albania, Bahrain, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States.