UAE, Bahrain, Israel and U.S. Conduct First Joint Naval Drill

The United States, Israel, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have conducted their first joint drill in the Red Sea – this is the first publicly acknowledged naval exercise between them after normalization of relation between Israel and the two Gulf countries.

The multilateral maritime security operations exercise took place on Wednesday, said the United States Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) on Thursday.

The five-day exercise includes training on the USS Portland vessel and will enhance interoperability between participating forces maritime interdiction teams, NAVCENT said in the statement.

“Maritime collaboration helps safeguard freedom of navigation and the free flow of trade, which are essential to regional security and stability,” said Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, commander of NAVCENT, US 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces.

The US 5th Fleet is based in the Gulf island state of Bahrain and operates in the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean.

Based on shared hopes of economic gains, the UAE and Bahrain have normalized their diplomatic relations with Israel one year ago under a US-brokered deal known as Abraham Accords.

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