UAE, Bahrain, Israel and US start naval drill in Read Sea
Forces from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Israel and the United States Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) began a multilateral maritime security operations exercise in the Red Sea on Wednesday, NAVCENT said on Thursday.
This is the first publicly acknowledged naval exercise between the United States, Israel and the two Gulf countries.
The five-day exercise includes training on the USS Portland vessel and will "enhance interoperability between participating forces' maritime interdiction teams", the statement said.
"Maritime collaboration helps safeguard freedom of navigation and the free flow of trade, which are essential to regional security and stability," said Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, commander of NAVCENT, US 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces.
The US 5th Fleet is based in the Gulf island state of Bahrain and operates in the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean.