US, Iraq and Kuwait hold joint maritime exercises in Arabian Gulf

Drill is second time in four months the countries have patrolled together to promote regional security

Vessels from the Iraq Navy and Kuwait Coast Guard during the exercise in the Arabian Gulf. Photo: US Army
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Maritime forces from Iraq, Kuwait and the US completed a joint patrol in the Arabian Gulf on Sunday, making it the second time in four months the three countries have patrolled together to promote regional maritime security, the Bahrain-based US Fifth Fleet said.

The maritime patrol on Sunday included US Navy mine countermeasures ship USS Dextrous (MCM 13) and vessels from the Iraqi Navy and Kuwaiti Coast Guard.

They conducted manoeuvring and maritime security drills, according to the Fifth Fleet.

“Partnerships are at the foundation of maritime security and stability in the Middle East,” said Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, commander of US Naval Forces Central Command, US Fifth Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces.

“Our continued collaboration reflects our collective commitment to safeguarding regional waters.”

The three countries last conducted a similar patrol in the Arabian Gulf on August 25.

USS Dextrous, the American Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship that took part in the joint exercise. Photo: US Fifth Fleet

US 5th Fleet’s operating area includes 21 countries, the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, parts of the Indian Ocean and three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, Bab Al Mandeb and the Suez Canal.

Earlier this month, the Fifth Fleet said it had seized one million rounds of ammunition, along with rocket fuses and propellant being smuggled on a trawler from Iran to Yemen.

Updated: December 12, 2022, 9:02 AM
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