Crisis in the Arabian Gulf | Page 36 | World Defense

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International Maritime Exercise 2019 begins in Middle East
Oct. 21, 2019
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Led by Rear Adm. Curt Renshaw, R, the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command addresses senior military leadership from countries participating in International Maritime Exercise 19. The three-week exercise began on Monday. Photo by MCS1 Jason Abrams/U.S. Navy

Oct. 21 (UPI) -- International Maritime Exercise 2019, involving 50 nations and seven international organizations, began on Monday in the Middle East, hosted by the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and the Navy's Fifth Fleet.

The exercise is the sixth of its kind, having last conducted in 2017. It will be held in four phases, including staff build-up and training, seminars and table-top discussions, the at-sea Fleet Training Exercise and redeployment of forces.

Events will be conducted in the Persian Gulf, Sea of Oman, Gulf of Aden and Red Sea, and will involve air, surface and underwater mine countermeasure operations and harbor force protection scenarios with unmanned underwater vehicles, the Command said.

An infrastructure protection symposium and a search-and-seizure seminar are also planned in Manama, Bahrain. The list of participants also includes civilian and maritime industry organizations.

"This year's iteration is the largest yet, expanding in size and geography; including all essential elements of maritime security operations," Vice Adm. Jim Malloy, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, said in a press release. "We've grown participation by about twenty nations, are covering an unprecedented amount of ground in the region, and our multinational team is taking part in more training scenarios than ever before."

The exercise will conclude on November 12.
 

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Air Force F-15Es arrive in United Arab Emirates
The F-15Es arrived at Al Dhafra Air Base on deployment from the 494th Fighter Squadron, stationed at Royal Air Force Lakenheath in Britain, to support ongoing Middle East operations.
Oct. 24, 2019
By Ed Adamczyk

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U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle fighter planes deployed to Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates last week, joining F-35s, KC-10s, E-3s and RQ-4 drones already stationed there. Photo by TSgt. Kat Justen/U.S. Air Force


View attachment 11418
An unknown number of U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle fighter planes arrived at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates last week, the Air Force announced on Wednesday. Photo by SSgt. Anna-Kay Ellis/U.S. Air Force

Oct. 24 (UPI) -- F-15E Strike Eagle fighter planes arrived at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, last week to support ongoing operations in the Middle East, the U.S. Air Force announced.

Citing operational security concerns, the Air Force did not specify how many planes arrived, but they join F-35A Lightning II, KC-10 Extender, E-3 Sentry, and RQ-4 Global Hawk aircraft at the base.

In a statement on Wednesday, U.S. Air Forces Central Command said the deployment is a "in support of ongoing operations to maintain air superiority, defend forces on the ground, enhance regional partnerships and demonstrate a continued commitment to regional security and stability."

The aircraft are part of the 494th Fighter Squadron, known as the "Panthers," stationed in Lakenheath, Britain.

The Strike Eagle, which first entered service in the 1980s, has been deployed in the past for military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Libya. Its specialty has been deep strikes against targets, combat air patrols, close air support for coalition troops.

The U.S. Air Force sent next-generation F35-A Lightning II fighter planes to the U.A.E. air base in April.Weeks later they carried out the F-35A's first combat airstrikes when they bombed an Islamic State tunnel network and weapons cache in Iraq.

The F-35s also participated in an "air operations in maritime surface warfare" integration exercise with the U.S. Navy in the Persian Gulf in July.
 

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