Romania joins US Navy in Middle East Naval Coalition

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The USS Winston S. Churchill guided-missile destroyer participates in joint training in the Bab el Mandeb Strait, November 20, 2020. The training was linked to International Maritime Security Construct, which announced a ninth member on March 26, 2022 .(Louis USA/US Navy)

Romanian navy personnel will soon join US sailors at the Bahrain Naval Support Activity.

Romania is the ninth country to join a maritime coalition formed to prevent attacks on commercial shipping in the Middle East, a statement from the US Naval Forces Central Command said on Saturday.

Romanian navy personnel will serve at the headquarters of the International Maritime Security Construct, which is based in Bahrain with the US 5th Fleet, the statement said.

“We are delighted to welcome Romania to the team,” Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces, said in the statement.

The International Maritime Security Construct, founded in 2019, includes Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as non-member countries in the Middle East such as Albania, Estonia, Lithuania, the United Kingdom United and the United States.

The organization’s operational arm, Coalition Task Force Sentinel, recently participated in US-led training exercises in the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and the northern Indian Ocean.

This unit was founded to “deter malicious state-sponsored activity and reassure the merchant shipping industry in Bab al-Mandeb and the Strait of Hormuz,” the statement said.

Several transport vessels have been attacked in the region in 2021, including the hijacking of an oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman in August.

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