US, Israel and Bahrain leaders discuss maritime security cooperation

The US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) has hosted defense leaders from Bahrain and Israel for discussions on regional maritime security cooperation.

US Navy

Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of NAVCENT, US 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces, welcomed Israel Minister of Defense Benjamin Gantz, Bahrain Minister of Defense Affairs Abdulla bin Hasan Al Noaimi and other senior government officials from the United States, Bahrain and Israel for a trilateral meeting at Naval Support Activity Bahrain.

“This visit highlights the importance of U.S. 5th Fleet’s decades-long strategic relationship with Bahrain and expanding partnership with Israel following the recent alignment of Israel to U.S. Central Command,” said Cooper. “We are always at our best when we work together with our international partners.”

The visit marked the second time in less than six months that an Israeli government minister visited NAVCENT headquarters with a Bahraini counterpart, signaling strengthened trilateral ties.

Following the visit to NAVCENT headquarters, Israeli officials toured guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67), currently moored in Bahrain.

USS Cole is on a scheduled deployment to the US 5th Fleet area of operations to help ensure maritime security and stability in the Middle East region.

The US 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses approximately 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, parts of the Indian Ocean and three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, Suez Canal and Strait of Bab al Mandeb.