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23/09/21: U.S. Navy, Bahrain Commit to Advance New Unmanned Systems Efforts

BAHRAIN - During a visit to the U.S. Navy installation in Bahrain, Sept. 23, Bahraini leaders committed to partnering with U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) to accelerate integration of new unmanned systems into regional maritime operations.

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Major Gen. Ala Abdulla Seyadi, commander of the Bahrain Coast Guard; Rear Adm. Mohammed Yousif Al Asam, commander of the Royal Bahrain Naval Force; and Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of NAVCENT, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces discussed future opportunities for cooperation.

"We have an enduring strategic relationship with the Kingdom of Bahrain and our mutual commitment to advancing new unmanned systems demonstrates us strengthening the partnership in a new way," said Cooper. "This initiative enables us to expand maritime domain awareness on, above and below the water and enhance regional deterrence."

NAVCENT commissioned Task Force 59, Sept. 9, to rapidly integrate unmanned systems and artificial intelligence into U.S. 5th Fleet operations and drive discovery in human-machine teaming technologies.

Cooper briefed the Bahraini leaders on NAVCENT’s latest unmanned surface, underwater and aerial vehicles on site at U.S. Naval Support Activity Bahrain.

In October, Bahrain’s maritime forces will be the first regional partners to collaborate with Task Force 59 on a manned-unmanned teaming exercise to evaluate advanced unmanned surface vessels. The at-sea event will kick off a series of maritime exercises that integrate manned and unmanned systems during operations with regional and coalition partners.

The Middle East region's unique geography, climate, and strategic importance offer an ideal environment for unmanned innovation. The area includes the world's largest standing maritime partnership and three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab-al-Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.

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