US, Saudi Bilateral Maritime Exercise Begins

A Mark VI patrol boat attached to Commander Task Force 56 participates in exercise Nautical Defender 20 in Jubail, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Feb. 23, 2020. Nautical Defender is a bilateral maritime exercise between the U.S. Navy and the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF) designed to build and sustain warfighting capabilities, support long term regional security and enhance military-to-military interoperability with the U.S. and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Kory Alsberry/Released)

The U.S. Navy and the Royal Saudi Naval Forces are participating in exercise Nautical Defender 20 (ND 20), Feb. 23-27.

ND is a bilateral maritime exercise designed to build and sustain combined warfighting capabilities, support long-term regional security and enhance military-to-military interoperability between the U.S. and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“Capstone exercises like Nautical Defender allow us to combine key combat enablers, such as, maritime infrastructure protection, maritime interdiction operations, and mine-counter-measures into a complex and realistic event driven scenario across several days. This type of comprehensive exercise challenges our planners and recognizes the increasing capabilities of our regional partners. It also recognizes Royal Saudi Naval Forces’ operational commitments and enables us to pool our resources to create a truly challenging and realistic environment in which to train together.” said Vice Adm. Jim Malloy, commander, Naval Forces Central Command.

“To make training like this effective, we must normalize procedural interoperability across all warfare areas, assessing against a common baseline for proficiency and leveraging systems compatibility across multiple platforms,” he added.

This is one of many exercises in which the U.S. military participates with partner nations in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility each year.

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