Threats in the maritime environment can be varied in both technology and approach, and this year’s IMCMEX is designed to address multiple elements of maritime security. These elements of security have been grouped into three categories for the exercise: Maritime Infrastructure Protection, Maritime Security Operations, and Mine Countermeasures.
I’ve prefaced these areas before, and are covered in more detail at the IMCMEX 13 website, but I’d like to take a moment to address the importance of adding maritime infrastructure as a focus for this exercise.
Navies are accustomed to being watchful for threats at sea and, due to past pirate activity, so have merchant companies and crews. It is just as vital that we train to protect our harbors and facilities, as without them our goods, services and personnel cannot get to sea.
Ports like Mina Salman and Khalifa Bin Salman are important for regional commerce as well as staging facilities for local and international navies to protect national and international interests.
Explosive ordnance disposal divers, patrol coastal ships, inshore boats, mine countermeasure ships, multiple aircraft, and port security teams work in concert to ensure shipping in ports and harbors are safe both in the water and ashore.
Security in the maritime environment is a multi-step process that can be challenging at the best of times, and the units we will focus on in future posts help ensure that our maritime infrastructure–both ports of departure and arrival–are capable of fulfilling commercial, national and international needs.