Story by NAVCENT Public Affairs
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.