Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have started joint naval exercise in the Persian Gulf waters.
Commander of the Eastern Fleet Rear Admiral Fahd al-Ghafili stated that the naval exercises, codenamed Bridge 18, began Tuesday between the Saudi Royal Navy and the Bahraini Royal Navy, Saudi Arabia’s official news agency SPA reported.
He added that the drills are aimed at consolidating Riyadh-Manama naval ties, increasing combat preparedness, supporting and reinforcing joint forces in case of naval confrontations and strengthening joint operational coordination.
Ghafili further noted that the naval drills will be staged in two phases, stressing that Saudi and Bahraini naval forces will carry out controlling operations in their territorial waters, protect critical infrastructure and main waterways, and conduct surveillance operations during the maneuvers.
In another development, a preparatory meeting for “Guards of the Kingdom 1” drill convened in Manama in the presence of Chief-of-Staff of Bahrain Defense Force (BDF) Lieutenant General Dhiab bin Saqr Al Nuaimi, the Royal Guard Commander Brigadier Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa and the Royal Guard Special Force Commander Major Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
Discussions focused on stages of the military exercise which comes within the framework of the BDF modernization and development strategy in the field of training, Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported.
The meeting was attended by BDF Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations Major General Ghanim Ibrahim Al Fadhala and senior officers.