Thursday, August 28, 2008

Combined Task Force 152 Conducts Exercise Goalkeeper

MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- Ships from Bahrain, the United Kingdom and the United States are conducting Exercise Goalkeeper in the Central and Southern Persian Gulf to train across the spectrum of Maritime Security Operations (MSO).

Led by Royal Navy Commodore Peter Hudson, commander, Combined Task Force (CTF) 152, the five-day exercise began Aug. 24 and seeks to ensure a lawful maritime order as well as improve relationships between regional countries.

"Exercise Goalkeeper provides coalition and regional navies an opportunity to fine tune their skills in conducting essential Maritime Security Operations," said Hudson.

In addition to familiarizing all forces with MSO, Goalkeeper provides participants an opportunity to exercise their abilities to locate and track various vessels, practice boarding techniques and work with the Bahraini Coast Guard.

Coalition units participating in the exercise include RBNS Al Fateh (PGGF 20), HMS Montrose (F 236) and USNS Catawba (T-ATF 168) as well as coalition maritime patrol aircraft.

Hudson explained the exercise's key focus is handling the command and control in locating and tracking specific vessels deemed to pose a threat to coalition nations in the Gulf region. During the exercise coalition teams will board the vessel and practice the procedures for handing them over to Coast Guard ships.

Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) conduct MSO in the region to help develop conditions for security in the maritime environment, which promotes stability and global prosperity. These operations complement the counterterrorism and security efforts of regional nations and seek to disrupt violent extremists' use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel or weapons.

CMF has a common purpose and goal – to increase the security and prosperity of the region by working together for a better future.