US leads International Maritime Exercise in Persian Gulf

The US Navy-led International Maritime Exercise 2019 (IMX 19) that will involve participants from over 50 nations kicked off in the Persian Gulf on October 21.

Photo: US Navy

The exercise will span from the Suez Canal south to the Bab-al-Mandeb, through the Strait of Hormuz and into the Northern Arabian Gulf.

It will consist of four phases: staff training, table-top and classroom exercises, fleet training exercise (FTX), and force redeployment.

This iteration of IMX is the sixth of its kind, the first being conducted in 2012 and the most recent being held in 2017. Vice Adm. Jim Malloy, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet, Combined Maritime Forces, explained that IMX 19 will be the most dynamic one to date.

“This year’s iteration is the largest yet, expanding in size and geography; including all essential elements of maritime security operations,” said Malloy.

“We’ve grown participation by about twenty nations, are covering an unprecedented amount of ground in the region, and our multinational team is taking part in more training scenarios than ever before.”

Vice Adm. Malloy also stated that multinational exercises such as IMX 19 strengthen partnerships with nations in the US Central Command area of responsibility (AOR) and beyond; relationships that are critical to mission success.

“IMX is an important demonstration of global commitment to freedom of navigation and the free flow of maritime commerce in this region,” said Malloy. “I’m proud that we have participation from nations all over the world, especially in leadership positions of multiple task forces. Stability and security in the maritime domain is a shared goal of all nations.”

The US Navy did not provide information on the assets that would be involved in the maneuvers.