Maritime environment in Gulf ‘very steady’Vice Admiral John Miller: says Strait of Hormuz is an international Hormuz and all nations have a right to it.

By Salman Siddiqui

The maritime environment in the Gulf region is “very steady” at the moment, Vice Admiral John Miller, Commander, US Naval Forces Central Command (NavCent)/US Fifth Fleet based in Manama said yesterday.

In his comments to the media at the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (Dimdex 2014), Miller said that Iran should make sure that they didn’t do anything in the maritime security environment to offer an opportunity to miscalculate their intentions. “We too never offer them an opportunity to miscalculate our intentions…. I would describe the maritime environment (in the region) as very steady right now.”

He said that everyone was well aware of Iran’s capability, especially its submarine fleet, most of which the Iranians have developed and built themselves.

When asked whether he thought Iran still posed a threat despite the recent peace overtures made to it by the US given that it has in the past threatened to shut down the vital supply route of Strait of Hormuz, the  vice admiral said: “Strait of Hormuz is an international Hormuz and all nations have a right to it.”

About the presence of Western naval powers in the Gulf region, he said that what we were seeing was that coalition forces were coming more and more together. “What we have in Bahrain is a Combined Maritime Force comprising 30 different countries and growing. We have over the last two years gone on from 26 countries to 30 and I think we will continue to grow. This is bringing us all together to operate as one force to ensure maritime security in the region. So, where we have common interest, we can certainly operate together.”

He said there was always an opportunity to improve communications between  coalition partners. “We hold on average 25 different naval exercises each year in the Gulf. So every other week, NavCent is involved in some sort of an exercise, often of which is multilateral.”

When asked whether he was satisfied with the number of naval assets he had in the region given reports that his fleet may have one instead of two aircraft carriers, Miller said: “The number of assets we have, ebbs and flows. I’m satisfied that we have enough assets to accomplish our missions today and what is projected in the future.”


Posted April 1, 2014 by rrts in -NEWS


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