Sailors assigned to Task Force Shore Battle Space pursue a Bahraini Coast Guard security boat during exercise Neon Defender 19 on Sept. 16, 2019. (U.S. Army Photo by Spc. Eric Cerami)

U.S., Bahrain Participate in Neon Defender 19 Maritime Security Exercise

U.S. and Bahrain armed forces participated in exercise Neon Defender 19 in Manama, Bahrain, Sept. 15-19.

ND 19 is a bilateral surface and maritime security exercise between the U.S. Navy and Bahrain Defense Force (BDF) to enhance interoperability and warfighting readiness.

The exercise served to enhance military relations and strengthen the partnership between the U.S. and the Kingdom of Bahrain. This cooperation demonstrates both nations’ commitment to the freedom of navigation in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, promoting long-term security and stability.

“Neon Defender 19 is a perfect opportunity to showcase the deepening interoperability between U.S. Naval Forces and the BDF, and demonstrates our commitment to regional security,” said Vice Adm. Jim Malloy, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces. “Being able to undertake complex operations like explosive ordnance disposal or mine field clearance tactics is critical for lasting regional stability.”

The main goal of exercises like ND19 is to share experiences and build relationships with our partners with a priority on military readiness and tactics.

ND 19 is just one of more than 60 exercises that the U.S. Navy conducts with more than 30 nations in the U.S. Central Command area of operations each year. These exercises are vital to the free flow of commerce in the region.

“Our message is clear, the U.S. Navy remains committed to working with partners and allies to strengthen maritime security in the region,” said Malloy. “By training together, exercises like ND 19 allow us to effectively develop and maintain the necessary skills to address threats to freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce.”

U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The expanse is comprised of 20 countries and includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.

Read more at U.S. 5th Fleet

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