NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY BAHRAIN, Bahrain (November 7, 2019) International partners attend the opening of Coalition Task Force (CTF) Sentinel’s new command center at Naval Support Activity, Bahrain. Participants from Australia, Bahrain, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States joined together at the ceremony to show their commitment to the international rules-based system. CTF Sentinel is a multinational maritime effort to promote maritime stability, ensure safe passage, and enhance freedom of navigation throughout key waterways in the Arabian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and the Gulf of Oman. (U.S. Navy video by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christopher O’Grady/Released)
[Chris] Recently US Naval Forces Central Command, US Fifth Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the command center for Coalition Taskforce Sentinel at Naval Support Activity Bahrain. Operation Sentinel falls under the International Maritime Security Construct, or IMSC, as a multi-national maritime effort to promote maritime security, ensure freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce throughout key waterways in the Middle East.
In response to recent attacks on merchant shipping in the Arabian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman, and anchorages within territorial waters, the President of the United States and the Secretary of Defense directed that the US Military engage regional partners and other vested allies from around the globe to work together and collectively develop a multi-national, maritime response.
[Chris] The IMSC aims to enable nations to work cooperatively to promote the free flow of commerce, deter threats to shipping, and enhance maritime domain awareness and surveillance.
The real strength in IMSC is the partner nations. So our watch floor as we were set up was myself. I’m the Head of Operations. But the Australian was in the charge of the watch floor. We had a Bahraini battle watch captain and were assisted by the Saudi officer. We have the UK officer conducting the liaison with the merchant community. And all of those different areas bring their own expertise. Certainly the regional nations deeply understand the region, the history, the implications, the second or third-order facts that maybe we in the UK, US, Australia don’t really understand. So we need that to help work out how we can defeat those threats and how to move this forward.
[Chris] I’m Petty Officer Chris O’Grady, reporting from AFN Bahrain.