Navies of the US, the UK and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have successfully completed a trilateral maritime exercise Nautical Defender 2022.

The seven-day-long training event was carried out in and around the Arabian Gulf region.

The latest iteration of Nautical Defender, which concluded on 7 November, included forces from the Royal Saudi Naval Forces’ (RSNF) Eastern Fleet, the UK Royal Navy (RN) and the US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT).

The annual exercise was also attended by various observers from regional countries.

Furthermore, the exercise saw the participation of various naval assets and personnel from the US Marine Corps, Navy, Army and US Coast Guard (USCG).

Participating warships from the US Navy included Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Delbert D Black (DDG 119) and Avenger-class mine countermeasures (MCM) ship USS Devastator (MCM 6).

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The USCG’s two Sentinel-class fast response cutters Charles Moulthrope (WPC 1141) and USCGC Robert Goldman (WPB 1142) also took part in the exercise.

During the training event, participant vessels and forces emphasised enhancing maritime security and practised various training drills at the sea and ashore in Saudi Arabia.

The drills primarily included vessel boarding procedures and explosive ordinance disposal.

Nautical Defender is a NAVCENT-conducted multinational exercise.

Headquartered in Manama, Bahrain, the NAVCENT comprises different naval forces that operate in the regions of the Indian Ocean, Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman and three major choke points at the Suez Canal, Strait of Hormuz and Bab al-Mandeb.

Last year, the Nautical Defender exercise was conducted between 20 and 29 January 2021 in the Arabian Gulf. It involved the participation of the UK Maritime Component Command (UKMCC) along with NAVCENT and RSNF.