The International Mine Countermeasures Exercise (IMCMEX) aims to protect international trade routes against possible threats posed by terrorist groups like Daesh and al-Qaeda, according to US officials.
According to Press TV, the exercise was organized by US Naval Forces Central Command and began Monday in Bahrain, home to the US 5th Fleet.
On Saturday, commander of US Naval Forces Central Command Vice Adm. Kevin Donegan highlighted the importance of the exercise in protecting shipping routes, saying, « We know that they want to disturb trade lines ».
« This region provides a strong training opportunity for nations worldwide as three of the six major maritime chokepoints in the world are here: the Suez Canal, the Strait of Bab Al Mandeb and the Strait of Hormuz, » Donegan said.
The IMCMEX, which ends on April 26, focuses on operations such as mine countermeasures, infrastructure protection, and maritime security operations to protect civilian shipping.