His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Prime Minister, along with HH Major Shaikh Isa bin Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, visited the US Fifth Fleet headquarters.
Following a welcoming military marine salute, His Royal Highness was received by the Commander of United States Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) and Commander of United States Fifth Fleet (C5F), Vice Admiral Charles Bradford Cooper II, and the Chargé d’Affaires of the United States Embassy in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Maggie Nardi.
HRH the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Prime Minister highlighted the strength of strategic ties between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United States of America, noting Bahrain’s commitment to strengthening military and defence relations.
HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad emphasised the importance of strategic alliances to upholding maritime, economic, and environmental security, noting the role played by the US Fifth Fleet in this regard.
In addition, HRH the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Prime Minister stressed the importance of protecting international maritime traffic from threats that adversely impact global trade, thanking the US for their role in this regard, and stressed the need to unify international efforts, to further strengthen regional maritime security.
His Royal Highness was briefed on regional security issues, including the US Fifth Fleet’s role, tasks, and cooperation with Bahraini forces.
HRH the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Prime Minister then attended the launch of the International Maritime Exercise 22 (IMX/CE 2022). His Royal Highness was also briefed on new uncrewed technologies and uncrewed surface vessels (USV) engaged in the exercise and the Royal Bahraini Navy’s participation in the exercise.
His Royal Highness reiterated that joint exercises are crucial to ensuring readiness to address various challenges and safeguarding regional and international navigation and maritime trade.
HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad extended his gratitude and wished success to the Commander of the US NAVCENT and CSF, the Royal Bahraini Navy, and all participating countries.
HRH the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Prime Minister was then briefed by Vice Admiral Charles Bradford Cooper II on the IMX/CE 2022, which commenced today and will run till 17 February 2022. The joint exercise aims to increase the capabilities and strengthen the relations of the participating countries’ naval forces to benefit international order and peace.
Vice Admiral Cooper noted that the exercise is the largest of its kind in the Middle East, with 60 countries and international organisations participating. It is also the largest drone exercise in the world, with more than 80 drones from 10 participating countries.
The Minister of Interior, HE General Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, the Minister of Finance and National Economy, HE Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, and several other senior officials were also in attendance.