The US Navy and the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF) have commenced a mixed maritime exercise, Naval Defender 21.

The exercise was officially started at the King Abdulaziz Naval Base (KANB) at the Eastern Fleet in Jubail, Saudi Arabia in the presence of Eastern Fleet commander vice admiral Majed bin Hazza Al-Qahtani, reported Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Joint exercise director rear admiral Awwad bin Rashid Al-Enezi was cited by SPA as saying that the participants will give several lectures and training courses as part of the exercise.

The personnel will also exchange combat experiences and even assess maritime security measures in the region.

Naval Defender 21 aims to enhance the combat readiness of the personnel and expand military security cooperation between the two nations.

It will also help strengthen and ensure improved protection of territorial waters, coasts and ports.

The assets that will participate in the exercise have not been disclosed. A British minesweeper is taking part in the mixed maritime exercise.

Earlier this month, the air forces of the two nations conducted a bilateral military drill.

In November 2020, the RSNF, the British Royal Navy and the US Navy conducted a mine countermeasures (MCM) interoperability training in the Arabian Gulf.

In October 2019, the US and its partner nations started the International Maritime Exercise 2019 (IMX 19) with the aim of maintaining regional security and stability.