A team of Australian personnel has joined a coalition maritime exercise in the Middle East as part of Operation Manitou, the Australian Government’s effort to ensure stability and security in the region.

The team includes around 20 Royal Australian Navy, Royal Australian Air Force and Defence civilians.

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Forming the Australian Maritime Task Group Middle East region, the team was attached with three multinational operational forces based at the naval support activity in Bahrain.

The three forces are Combined Maritime Force, International Maritime Security Construct, and Task Force 52.

The exercise will help the forces to understand regional complexities and hone their skills.

Commander of the task group Captain Michael Manfield said: “Personnel conduct tasks including current operations, future planning, battle watch, legal, logistics and operational analysis.”

Comprising personnel from 33 nations, Combined Maritime Force conducts maritime security operations in the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, Bab Al Mandeb Strait, and Red Sea.

The operations help in preventing non-state criminal activities at sea and ensure safe cargo movement.

The eight-nation security construct maintains the free flow of commerce and the implementation of international law primarily in the Straits of Hormuz and Bab Al Mandeb Strait.

The US-led Task Force 52 is formed to thwart any illegal activity that may impact commercial activity.

Captain Manfield added: “Working within a coalition environment is fundamental to our ability to achieve maritime safety and security over the distances and isolation of the world’s seas and oceans.

“No one country can counter malign and criminal activity on a regional or global scale, so coalition operations which develop mutually supportive strategies, optimise the sharing of information and coordinate the conduct of activities will succeed.”