The U.S., French and British navies have launched anti-mine exercises off Bahrain in support of the free movement of trade in Gulf waters, a military spokesperson said Monday.
“As mines threaten maritime traffic indiscriminately, the U.S., France and United Kingdom are dedicated to conducting tactical training to counter the risk of mines in order to support the continued free flow of commerce and freedom of navigation in this critical region,” said the U.S. Fifth Fleet, which is based in Bahrain.
Artemis Trident is a mine countermeasures exercise conducted by France’s Marine Nationale, the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy and the U.S. Navy in the Arabian Gulf focused on increasing interoperability and demonstrating the nations’ shared commitment to ensuring unfettered maritime operations, the Fifth Fleet said last week.
The exercise is “purely defensive,” Lieutenant Chloe Morgan, a spokesperson for the U.S. Navy, told AFP.
The small kingdom of Bahrain, allied with Gulf powerhouse Saudi Arabia, is located in the waters between the ingdom and its arch-nemesis Iran.
The archipelago is also home to a permanent British military base.