U.S. Forces Conduct Joint Aviation Integration Exercise in the Gulf of Oman

By U.S. Naval Forces Central Command | September 25, 2023

MANAMA, Bahrain --

 U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and U.S. Air Forces Central (AFCENT) conducted a joint Air Operation in Maritime Surface Warfare (AOMSW) exercise in the Gulf of Oman, Sept. 23-24.  

The AOMSW exercise included a live Surface Combat Air Patrol and the employment of joint fires against surface threats improving the tactical proficiency. Participating platforms included Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II’s from AFCENT’s 75th Fighter Squadron and U.S. Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, USS Stethem (DDG 63).

This exercise marks the sixth iteration of the joint and combined AOMSW between U.S. Navy and Air Force this year. Previous exercises incorporated the Air Force Two U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II aircraft operate alongside USS Bataan (LHD 5) & USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116) in the Gulf of Oman, in August; An A-10 firing a 30mm practice rounds on a practice target on the surface of the water in July 10; A U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft, two United States Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft, & three U.S. Coast Guard cutters with embarked U.S. Marine Corps joint terminal attack controllers, trained together in the Arabian Gulf, April 28; Guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) and an HH-60W Jolly Green II helicopter conducted joint operations in the Gulf of Aden, April 2.

USS Stethem is are deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations to help ensure maritime security and stability in the Middle East region. The U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses nearly 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, parts of the Indian Ocean and three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, Suez Canal and Bab al-Mandeb.