The leaders of Bahrain have made a commitment to cooperate with a new task force of the U.S. Navy that will integrate unmanned aircraft into maritime operations.
The U.S. Navy announced that the commander of Bahrain's Navy and the commander of Bahrain's Coast Guard visited the U.S. Navy's facilities in Bahrain including the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) in order to discuss details of the cooperation. Bahrain will be the first regional partner to collaborate with the task force in a series of exercises and maneuvers, in which both manned and unmanned aircraft will operate with military forces from the region.
Task Force 59, which has been commissioned by the U.S. Navy, and is the first of its kind, will be responsible for huge areas in the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman, the Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean.
Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of NAVCENT, said that the new initiative will enable the expansion of maritime domain awareness on, above and below the water, and enhancement of deterrence.
The U.S. Navy said that the region's geography, climate, and strategic importance offer an ideal environment for unmanned system innovation. The area includes three critical points: the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab-al-Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.
At the beginning of the year, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps announced a new unmanned system strategy, including the building of digital infrastructure that will enable integration of drone capabilities.