New Home for Operation Sentinel



Story by NAVCENT Public Affairs 

U.S. Naval Forces Central Command / U.S. 5th Fleet

The International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC) held a ribbon cutting ceremony on board Naval Support Activity Bahrain to formally open the new operational headquarters for Coalition Task Force (CTF) Sentinel, Aug. 6.

The new and improved space will enhanced the flow of information and allow for greater coordination in tracking merchant shipping as it transits through key waterways in the Arabian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and the Gulf of Oman.

Cdre. Rob Bellfield, CTF Sentinel Commander paid particular praise to the contributions made by regional partners who are members of the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC).

“Our partners in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates share their exceptional political and geographic knowledge of the region,” said Bellfield. “They know this region intimately because this is their home, which they graciously share with us. The interoperability between Sentry ships from the region and Sentinel ships from Australia, the United Kingdom and United States, as well as regional Naval Operation Centres, highlights the close relationship we have allowing CTF Sentinel to maintain an operational strength we may not otherwise achieve.”

The ceremony was limited to ensure social distancing and to mitigate against the spread of coronavirus.

Representatives from the host nation, Bahrain, were in attendance.

“We are pleased to be here today for the opening of the new headquarters of CTF Sentinel,” said Rear Adm. Mohammed Yousif Al-Asam, Commander of Royal Bahrain Naval Forces. “It marks another vital facet of the IMSC, which has proved to be effective in ensuring the freedom of navigation, the safety of all the maritime shipping in the region and the strategic passage ways.”

In acknowledging this milestone, Vice Adm. Jim Malloy, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet, Combined Maritime Forces, said, “IMSC’s success comes from standing and working together. This coalition fulfils a much-needed role. Its watchwords of “Vigilance, Surveillance, and Assurance” tell you exactly what CTF Sentinel is about and why the task force plays such a key role in the region. They are providing the much-needed collective eyes and ears to some of the world’s most congested, contested waters.”

Since the opening of the watch floor in November 2019, the Task Force Sentinel team has continued to expand in both capability and capacity.

Malloy praised the “enduring commitment of all nations that contribute to the free flow of merchant shipping through some of the world’s busiest sea lanes.”

The multi-national, British-led CTF Sentinel deploys ships and aircraft throughout the region as part of the international surveillance and detection effort, ensuring freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce in international waters.


Maritime guards bust 1 ton of narcotics in S Iran

Maritime guards of Hormozgan Province have seized 1 ton of illicit drugs in Bandar Lengeh, said navy commander.

The Commander of Maritime Guards in Hormozgan Colonel Hossein Dehaki said on Sunday that border guards in Bandar Lengeh naval base managed to identify two smuggling bands following intelligence operations.

He added that they have successfully seized 1 vessel and 1 vehicle, in addition to the confiscation of 1 ton of opium.

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Yemen coastguard see uptick in seizures of arms smuggled to Houthis

Hind Al Soulia – Riyadh – Yemen’s coastguard recently found sacks of AK-47 ammunition hidden on a trading vessel shortly followed on another operation by discovering 40 kilos of cocaine. All the shipments were headed to rebel-controlled areas of the war-torn country and come as a result of efforts to control violations of a UN arms embargo.

Col Abduljabar Zahzooh, who leads Yemen’s coastguard in the Red Sea, told The National the raid last Thursday that uncovered the hidden ammunition was the fourth time they’ve uncovered such illicit cargo in just the last few months.

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Iran denies US seizure of Iranian arms on way to Houthis in Yemen

Iran on Thursday denied that US forces had seized a boat carrying Iranian weapons to Houthi rebels in Yemen, saying the charge was aimed at extending a UN arms embargo on Tehran.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in Washington on Wednesday that US and unidentified allied forces had interdicted a vessel off Yemen’s coast on June 28 that was carrying Iranian arms to the Houthis.

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IRGC navy to build permanent Indian Ocean base, says commander

Iranian Navy ships in Velayat-90 military exercise, by Mohammad Sadegh Heydari via Wikipedia

Admiral Alireza Tangsiri says force regularly operates beyond Iranian waters

The naval forces of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps planned to build a permanent base in the Indian Ocean by the end of the year, Admiral Alireza Tangsiri told state-run Fars news agency.

He said the operation came at the request of military leadership and was intended to protect fishing and industrial shipping.

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Denmark Green Lights Frigate Deployment for Operation Agenor

Persian Gulf/SoH

Martin Manaranche

The Danish Navy (Søværnet) will deploy a Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate to the Hormuz Strait to join the French-led operation Agenor.

The decision was green lighted by the Danish parliement on June 11. From August, a Dutch Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate and a Seahawk helicopter will join the Hormuz Strait alongside their French allies.

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Iran Tests New Naval Missiles in Indian Ocean Exercise

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The Iranian Navy test-fired new homegrown cruise missiles on Thursday in a military exercise in the northern parts of the Indian Ocean to hit targets at a distance of 280 kilometers.

Iran’s Navy launched a naval combat war game in the Sea of Oman and the northern parts of the Indian Ocean on Thursday morning.

In the exercise, codenamed ‘Ramadan Martyrs’, the Navy tested new short-range and long-range cruise missiles manufactured by the Iranian Defense Ministry.

The long-range naval cruise missiles hit the targets at a distance of 280 kilometers. The range of the new homegrown missiles may be extended.

A variety of coast-to-sea and sea-to-sea missiles with short and long ranges were fired simultaneously from the coastal launchers and the deck of naval vessels, and they could successfully detonate the targets with great accuracy.

The Thursday war game was held on the fortieth day after the martyrdom of a number of Navy forces in an incident involving the Konarak vessel.

Nineteen Navy servicemen were martyred and 15 others injured in the accident on May 10 when a number of vessels were carrying a naval training exercise off the coasts of Jask and Chabahar in the Sea of Oman.


India looks to deploy naval liaisons at Madagascar, Abu Dhabi for information exchange

Dinakar Peri

After joining the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) as Observer in March, India is looking to post Navy Liaison Officers at the Regional Maritime Information Fusion Centre (RMIFC) in Madagascar and also at the European maritime surveillance initiative in the Strait of Hormuz for improved Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA).

“We are working closely with France who is a pre-eminent member of IOC to post a Naval LO at the RMIFC in Madagascar. We are also working on posting a Naval LO at the European Maritime Awareness in the Strait of Hormuz (EMASOH) in Abu Dhabi,” a defence source told The Hindu. “This will be in the overall realm of improving linkages of the Navy’s Information Fusion Centre for Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) in Gurugram with other IFCs and become the repository for all maritime data in the IOR,” the source said. The LOs are expected to be posted in the next few months.

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French Navy FREMM Frigate ‘Languedoc’ now under EMASOH command

Persian Gulf/SoH

The French frigate FS “Languedoc” has begun its deployment under EMASOH (European-led Maritime Awareness in the Strait of Hormuz) command since May 19.

Martin Manaranche

EMASOH press release

In order to ensure a safe navigational environment and to enhance maritime situational awareness, the FS Languedoc will be operating closely together with the Dutch frigate “HNLMS de Ruyter” and the French Maritime Patrol Aircraft Atlantique 2.

“Our sensors and our NH90 helicopter allow us a permanent watch in the area to enhance the common maritime security. We are looking forward to contribute to the security of navigation and the free flow of commerce in an area that is crucial for the world economy and European interests”

Captain Jean-Pierre Helluy, commanding officer of the FS Languedoc.


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Stable Seas report: What we know about piracy

SafeSeas is pleased to announce the first report resulting from collaboration with Stable Seas: What we know about Piracy

Authored by Lydelle Joubert, the report draws on desk-based research conducted between June 2019 and March 2020. It provides a systematic overview of data, answering the questions:

  • How is data on piracy and armed robbery collected?
  • By whom?
  • What kinds of information are available?
  • How accessible is the data?
  • What are the blind spots?

To download the report, please click here.

MarsecNews: This is a good overall read and covers the topic very well. Full marks to Lydelle and the team.