"Today, we reach two significant milestones in the standing up of the CTF [Coalition Task Force] Sentinel headquarters under the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC) and the introduction of the CTF’s first appointed commander, Rear Admiral Alvin Holsey", Vice Adm. Jim Malloy said at a ceremony with participants from Australia, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States.
Malloy commands the US Naval Forces Central Command, US 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces.
The International Maritime Security Construct was created in response to a series of attacks on ships, attacks on Saudi oil facilities, the downing of a US drone and the seizure of international oil tankers - incidents that the United States blames on Iran.
The effort includes large naval vessels such as frigates and destroyers (sentinels) to protect critical chokepoints and smaller naval vessels such as patrol crafts and corvettes (sentries) to patrol key shipping lanes, the release said.
The International Maritime Security Construct also includes drones and other aircraft to monitor the flow of traffic through the highest risk areas in the region, the release added.
In addition to hosting the International Maritime Security Construct headquarters, Bahrain serves as the primary host for the US 5th Fleet.