U.S. 5th Fleet (The Fifth Fleet) and the Jordanian Armed Forces (JAF) completed a two-week bilateral maritime exercise, Infinite Defender 2023, off the coast of Aqaba, Jordan, Aug. 23. More than 300 Jordanian and U.S. Sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, Soldiers and Airmen participated. Task Force 56 led the exercise working alongside Task Force 52, Task Force 59, U.S. Patrol Forces Southwest Asia and Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team Central Command.
During the exercise, U.S. and Jordanian forces practiced a variety of skills including humanitarian assistance and disaster response, small boat maintenance, maritime interdiction, maritime security, explosive ordnance disposal, live fire exercises and maritime clearing mines. Infinite Defender is an annual bilateral exercise between the JAF and U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard forces from NAVCENT focused on maritime infrastructure protection, explosive ordnance disposal, and anti-terrorism force protection.
“It’s inspiring to see all the joint forces working together in this vital region,” said Capt. Oliver Herion, commander of Task Force 56. “Together, we continue to grow and build on our tactics, readiness and commitment to regional maritime security and stability.”
The Fifth Fleet is a numbered fleet of the United States Navy. It has been responsible for naval forces in the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and parts of the Indian Ocean 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). The U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses nearly 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, parts of the Indian Ocean and three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, Suez Canal and Bab al-Mandeb.