Royal Bahrain Naval Force coalition ship, RBNS Al Muharraq

The Royal Bahrain Naval Force coalition ship, RBNS Al Muharraq, operates in the Arabian Gulf during a sentry patrol as part of the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC).

Navy Expands Commercial Ship Protection Partnership

John Konrad
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October 19, 2022

The US Navy announced they are expanding partnerships with nations in the Indian and Pacific Oceans to protect shipping under the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC), a coalition established in 2019 to deter attacks on commercial shipping in the Middle East.

This week Seychelles becomes the tenth member of IMSC and its operational arm, Coalition Task Force Sentinel, which also welcomed Romania in March.

“We are very excited to now welcome Seychelles, another great maritime partner in the region,” said Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of the US Navy’s 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces. “Having representation from countries all over the world makes us a stronger team.”

IMSC was formed in July 2019 in response to increased threats to merchant mariners transiting international waters. Coalition Task Force Sentinel was established four months later to deter state-sponsored malign activity and reassure the merchant shipping industry in the Bab al-Mandeb and Strait of Hormuz.

“Through our presence across the Middle East, we continue to strengthen our coalition and build new partnerships while reassuring those who operate in this region,” said United Kingdom Royal Navy Commodore Ben Aldous, commander of IMSC and Coalition Task Force Sentinel.

In addition to Seychelles and Romania, IMSC’s member-nations include Albania, Bahrain, Estonia, Lithuania, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States.

Seychelles is also a member of Combined Maritime Forces, a larger 34 nation naval partnership focused on counter-narcotics, counter-smuggling, suppressing piracy, and other major problems in the maritime domain including responding to environmental and humanitarian incidents.

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