US Holds Largest Multinational Naval Exercise in Middle East, Tests Fleet of Drones

© AFP 2022 / KARIM SAHIBBritain's RFA Cardigan Bay landing ship sails in the Gulf waters off Bahrain during the International Maritime Exercise (IMX), on November 5, 2019. - IMX is a joint military exercise involving assets and personnel from more than 50 partner nations and seven international organisations. The US has pushed for the creation of a US-led operation dubbed the International Maritime Security Construct to safeguard trade and the flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz. It has so far been joined by Australia, Britain and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Bahrain, the Gulf island state which is home to the US Fifth Fleet. (Photo by KARIM SAHIB / AFP)
Britain's RFA Cardigan Bay landing ship sails in the Gulf waters off Bahrain during the International Maritime Exercise (IMX), on November 5, 2019. - IMX is a joint military exercise involving assets and personnel from more than 50 partner nations and seven international organisations. The US has pushed for the creation of a US-led operation dubbed the International Maritime Security Construct to safeguard trade and the flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz. It has so far been joined by Australia, Britain and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Bahrain, the Gulf island state which is home to the US Fifth Fleet. (Photo by KARIM SAHIB / AFP) - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.02.2022
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US Strategic Command also launched Global Lightning military drills, which involve testing the latest model of America's nuclear war plan. Last year, these war games were based on deterring hypothetical Russian aggression with nuclear weaponry. The military drills are being held as tensions between the US and Russia worsen over Ukraine.
The Pentagon launched the IMX/CE (International Maritime Exercise/Cutlass Express) 2022 joint naval drills with more than 60 allies on 31 January, the US Fifth Fleet announced. Taking place in the Kingdom of Bahrain in the Middle East region, these war games were attended by 9,000 servicemen from the US and its allies, and involved 50 warships.
This year's IMX/CE naval drills are focused on testing drones and the work of artificial intelligence in various military scenarios, according to the Fifth Fleet. The military also called IMX/CE 2022 the "largest multinational naval exercise".

"Most notably on IMX-22 there are two big features that make it different from previous displays. First, this will be our biggest exercise that we conduct with more than 60 nations participating. The second feature is, with 10 nations providing nearly 80 unmanned platforms, this will be the largest unmanned maritime exercise in the world," US Naval Forces Central Command Vice-Admiral Brad Cooper explained.

The multinational military force will extend over 14 different training scenarios, although the vice-admiral would not expand on details. The exercises will be held in the Arabian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and northern part of the Indian Ocean and will last until 17 February.
This photo provided by the Defense Department's Missile Defense Agency, taken Jan. 28, 2016, shows a long-range ground-based interceptor is launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.01.2022
US Conducts Nuclear Weapons Use War Games Amid Continuing Tensions With Russia Over Ukraine
The multinational war games coincided with the "stress test" of the latest US nuclear war plan by the country's Strategic Command. The force will not fire any missiles, but the exercise will test its readiness to use nuclear weapons in various scenarios, which exclude Mutually Assured Destruction and suggest multiple exchanges of weaponry. Last year these drills, dubbed Global Lightning, were based on the hypothesis that the US would be deterring Russian aggression against Baltic states using nuclear weapons.
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