Saudi Arabia, US Kick off Military Drill in Gulf
The mixed maritime “Naval Defender 21” exercise between Royal Saudi Naval Forces and the United States Navy kicked off on Thursday at King Abdulaziz Naval Base (KANB) at the Eastern Fleet in Jubail.
The drill, which is being held in Gulf waters, will also see the participation of a British minesweeper.
Commander of the Eastern Fleet Vice Admiral Majed bin Hazza Al-Qahtani will oversee the exercise.
The two-week drill aims to raise combat readiness and expand maritime security cooperation between the two forces, by strengthening maritime security, ensuring protection of territorial waters and exchanging combat experiences.
The exercise is being held amid heightened tensions in the region and threats to marine waterways, underlining the need for coordination between navies in the area.