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Combined Task Force 154 Conducts Operation Northern Readiness II in Aqaba, Jordan

28 February 2024

From Courtesy Story

AQABA, Jordan – Operation Northern Readiness II was conducted at the Royal Jordanian Naval base in Aqaba, Jordan, Feb 18 – 22. 

The Maritime Security Enhancement Training (MSET) was the latest iteration of Combined Task Force (CTF) 154’s international training exercises and included participants from eleven nations from the Combined Maritime Forces, as well as EUNAVFOR and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).

The operation was the largest scale event in CTF 154 history, with approximately 150 participants, facilitators and observers, providing an excellent opportunity to build international relationships between participating nations, as well as share knowledge and practice capabilities.

The facilitators and participants shared skills and expertise on core areas including the law of the sea, uncrewed systems, Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS), patrol boat operations and drills, explosive ordnance disposal and diving.

Representatives from Combined Maritime Forces, EUNAVFOR and UNITAR provided daily lectures on the law of the sea, covering the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the role of international organizations in combating piracy and drug smuggling and the legal issues on the use of uncrewed surface and air systems.

Personnel from Bahrain-based Task Force 59 briefed participants on how they are currently employing uncrewed systems and provided training on the Saildrone operating portal, used by the Jordanian Maritime Operations Center.

Taking full advantage of the facilities and assets available at the naval base, participants practiced vital VBSS skills, man overboard procedures and towing drills by simulating real world scenarios, led by the Royal Jordanian Navy. Multi-national training exercises such as these allow navies to seamlessly work together when such situations occur in real life.

Under the surface of the Gulf of Aqaba, the dive team taking part in Operation Northern Readiness practiced diving drills and shared best practices, before returning to the surface to share their knowledge on explosive ordnance disposal. The team also took the opportunity to view the recompression chambers at a nearby hospital, used to treat or prevent decompression sickness.

CAPT Ayman Al Naimat, Commander of CTF 154 and himself a member of the Royal Jordanian Navy said, “This is an incredible opportunity for both the CMF and the partner nations participating in this exercise as well as for the Royal Jordanian Navy. All members were able to share their knowledge, experience and demonstrate their skills throughout the week. The opportunity to share and learn from each other is how we grow and improve maritime security operations and support the rules-based international order at sea.” CAPT Ayman Al Naimat added, “It was an honor to both host Operation Northern Readiness in my country, and to lead Combined Task Force 154 that coordinated this work.”

This is the fifth focused training event led by CTF 154, with plans for future training operations already underway. CMF launched CTF 154 in May 2023 to organize multinational maritime training opportunities at locations across the Middle East, enabling more CMF partner nations to participate in training opportunities without ships or aircraft, particularly during courses taught ashore.

CMF consists of 41 member and partner nations whose forces operate in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Gulf, and Indian Ocean. These nations are united in upholding international rules-based order to protect the free flow of commerce, promote regional maritime security, and deter illicit activity by non-state actors.


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