The Royal Saudi Navy Forces started Tuesday their Maneuvers of Gulf Shield 1 in the waters of Arabian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
Formations of the Royal Saudi Navy Forces of Eastern Fleet are participating in these drills which include the King s warships, speedboats, air navy aircraft, Marine Corps and special security naval units.
This was announced by the Commander of the exercises, Rear Admiral Majed bin Hazzaa Al-Qahtani.
He described the maneuvers of Gulf Shield 1 as one of the largest of its kind that being conducted by the Eastern Fleet in the Arabian Gulf and Sea of Oman through the Strait of Hormuz.
Rear Admiral Al-Qahtani said that Gulf Shield 1 maneuvers include all naval operations dimensions including air, surface and subsurface warfare and electronic warfare as well as mine operations, deployment of Marines, special naval security units and live ammunition s shootings, pointing out that these exercises are an extension of the prepared plans and training programs to raise the combat readiness and professional performance for units and employees of the naval forces in preparation for the protection of the marine interests of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia against any possible aggression.
Saudi Arabia is concerned by the growing clout in the region of Iran, which has emerged from years of international economic sanctions following a deal over its nuclear program signed by Tehran and world powers in 2015.
Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition of Muslim countries, backed by the United States, Britain and France, in a war in neighboring Yemen. The campaign, aimed at restoring a government ousted by an Iran-allied militia, is part of a more assertive effort by Riyadh since last year to counter Iran’s influence.
Some 17 million barrels per day (bpd), or about 30% of all seaborne-traded oil, passed through the Strait of Hormuz in 2013, according to the US Energy Information Administration.