Maritime forces from Iraq, Kuwait and the United States conducted a joint patrol, Aug. 25, in the Arabian Gulf. Ships from the Iraq Navy, Kuwait Naval Force, Kuwait Coast Guard, U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard participated in maneuvering exercises and maritime security drills. U.S. ships included patrol coastal ship USS Sirocco (PC 6) and fast response cutter USCGC Charles Moulthrope (WPC 1141). Sirocco and Charles Moulthrope are forward-deployed to Bahrain where U.S. 5th Fleet is headquartered.
“Trilateral engagements like this demonstrate the shared commitment of partner nations to safeguarding the seas. Cooperation among regional partners at sea helps ensure maritime security and stability in nearby waters,” said Capt. Robert Francis, commander of Task Force 55 whose staff oversees operations for U.S. 5th Fleet surface forces.
The U.S. 5th Fleet 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 Suez Canal. The Fifth Fleet is a numbered fleet of the United States Navy since 1995 after a 48-year hiatus. It shares a commander and headquarters with U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) in Bahrain. Fifth Fleet/NAVCENT is a component command of, and reports to, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM).