US, Saudi Bilateral Maritime Exercise Begins
US, Saudi Bilateral Maritime Exercise Begins

US, Saudi Bilateral Maritime Exercise Begins

The U.S. Navy and the Royal Saudi Naval Forces are participating in exercise Nautical Defender 20 (ND 20), Feb. 23-27.

ND is a bilateral maritime exercise designed to build and sustain combined warfighting capabilities, support long-term regional security and enhance military-to-military interoperability between the U.S. and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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A Mark VI patrol boat attached to Commander Task Force 56 participates in exercise Nautical Defender 20 in Jubail, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Feb. 23, 2020.
A Mark VI patrol boat attached to Commander Task Force 56 participates in exercise Nautical Defender 20 in Jubail, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Feb. 23, 2020. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Kory Alsberry/Released)

“Capstone exercises like Nautical Defender allow us to combine key combat enablers, such as, maritime infrastructure protection, maritime interdiction operations, and mine-counter-measures into a complex and realistic event driven scenario across several days. This type of comprehensive exercise challenges our planners and recognizes the increasing capabilities of our regional partners. It also recognizes Royal Saudi Naval Forces’ operational commitments and enables us to pool our resources to create a truly challenging and realistic environment in which to train together.” said Vice Adm. Jim Malloy, commander, Naval Forces Central Command.

Gunner's Mate 1st Class Andrew Davies, assigned to Commander Task Force 56, guides Rear Adm. Majed Haz'z Al-Kahtani, deputy commander of Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF) Eastern Fleet, on how to operate a Mark VI patrol boat during an underway as part of exercise Nautical Defender 20 in Jubail, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Feb. 23, 2020.
Gunner’s Mate 1st Class Andrew Davies, assigned to Commander Task Force 56, guides Rear Adm. Majed Haz’z Al-Kahtani, deputy commander of Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF) Eastern Fleet, on how to operate a Mark VI patrol boat during an underway as part of exercise Nautical Defender 20 in Jubail, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Feb. 23, 2020. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Kory Alsberry/Released)

“To make training like this effective, we must normalize procedural interoperability across all warfare areas, assessing against a common baseline for proficiency and leveraging systems compatibility across multiple platforms,” he added.

This is one of many exercises in which the U.S. military participates with partner nations in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility each year.

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