Global Coalition Launches Operation Sentinel
The US Central Command announced the opening of operations from its Bahrain headquarters to protect shipping in the troubled waters of the Gulf, after a string of attacks that Washington and its allies blamed on Iran.
The new mission, dubbed Operation Sentinel, is designed to “ensure freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce in international waters” throughout the Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and the Gulf of Oman, US Central Command said in a release
“Today, we reach two significant milestones in the standing up of the CTF Sentinel headquarters under the International Maritime Security Construct and the introduction of the CTF’s first appointed commander, Rear Adm. Alvin Holsey,” said Vice Adm. Jim Malloy, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces.
Participants from Australia, Bahrain, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States joined together at the ceremony to show their commitment to the international rules-based system.
Malloy welcomed the newest member of the IMSC, Albania, which joined Nov. 1.
The IMSC was established to deter malign activity, promote maritime security and stability, and ensure freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce in international waters throughout the Arabian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and the Gulf of Oman.
“Standing up CTF Sentinel is an important multinational maritime effort to increase surveillance of and security in key waterways in the Middle East to ensure freedom of navigation in light of recent events in the Arabian Gulf,” said Malloy.
Increased threats in critical waterways, mine attacks on international shipping, attacks on Saudi oil facilities, the shooting down of a U.S. drone and seized international shipping are recent examples, Malloy said.