Maritime forces from Saudi Arabia and the United States participated in a monthly international coalition exercise in the Persian Gulf on September 20.
During a one-day training period organized by the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC), the Royal Saudi Navy ship HMS As-Siddiq (PGG 511) and the USCGC Charles Moulthrope (WPC 1141) participated in the latest iteration of Exercise Sentinel Shield
“It was a good training opportunity for our crew while working with our Saudi partners in the Persian Gulf,” said Lt. Cmdr. Stephen Hills, commanding officer of Charles Moulthrope. “They were very professional and extremely easy to work with.”
The ships performed ship defense and small boat training during the event, which is part of a series of monthly exercises that improves maritime communication and coordination among the nine IMSC member nations.
The IMSC was established in July 2019 in response to growing threats to the freedom of navigation of merchant seamen transiting international waters in the Middle East. The Coalition Task Force Sentinel, the operational arm of the IMSC, was created four months later to deter malicious state-sponsored activity and reassure the merchant shipping industry in Bab al-Mandeb and the Strait of ‘Ormuz.
“Sentinel Shield exercises are essential to ensure that we are tactically and operationally competent, which in turn reassures our commercial and industrial partners,” said Royal Navy Commodore Ben Aldous, Commanding Officer of the IMSC and Coalition Task Force Sentinel.
The multinational coalition is headquartered in Bahrain with the US 5th Fleet and includes Albania, Bahrain, Estonia, Lithuania, Romania, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States .