The United States and Britain hold a joint-naval-exercise in the Gulf of Aden

U.S. and British Navy vessels are holding a “Mine Countermeasures Exercise” in the Gulf Sea, off the coast of Bahrain. The naval drill comes amid rising tensions with the Islamic Republic of Iran, which has threatened on several occasions to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz, if the United States would follow through with sanctions on Tehran’s oil industry. According to Captain Michael Eagen, who serves as the Commander for the U.S. Task Force 52, believes “this exercise between us and (the) UK, it builds an interoperability and it allows us to really know our skill sets and our limitations and I think, you know, we are postured here in the Gulf and we train regularly with these exercises, quarterly and we are in a very strong position to deal (with) whatever threat may come our way.” Andy Lam, who serves as the deputy Commander for the U.K. Task Force, underscored the ongoing naval efforts of the Task Force 52, to assure maritime freedom of movement, provides a direct contribution to the preservation of global prosperity commented, “I think security and prosperity are absolutely connected. Trade is the beating heart, if you like, of the global economy, so the work that we do here helps provide that freedom of navigation and that freedom of movement for trade, trade for the daily things that you and I use.” While the joint Naval exercise is being held not far from another naval exercise of the Islamic Republic’s Revolutionary Guards; Lieutenant Commander Andrew Contis clarified that “This is a scheduled exercise, we do this periodically anyway and the threat from any country is always, it’s always real and that’s why we continue to work these exercises periodically to make sure that we’re ready to deliver a capability that is proficient.”