Tags: Iran | Pentagon | military exercise | Persian Gulf

Pentagon: Gulf Exercise Aimed at 'Fictional' Adversary, Not Iran

Monday, 23 March 2015 12:26 PM

Three thousand U.S. military personnel are conducting a major exercise off Iran's coast in the Persian Gulf while the Pentagon declares that it does not "signal" a warning to the Islamic Republic, The Washington Free Beacon reported.

Called Eagle Resolve, the operation consists of "air, land, sea, and special operations components," and includes forces from allies like Kuwait in the Middle East, according to officials from U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM).

The exercise was launched two weeks ago and ends on March 31, the same day that the U.S. hopes to sign a tentative deal with Iran that would presumably prevent the republic from building nuclear weapons.

"The exercise is not intended as a signal to Iran," said a CENTCOM official. "If there's any message at all, it's that all participants have a common interest in regional security. It's important to point out that this is a recurring exercise, with planning for this year's exercise beginning over a year ago.

"The focus of the exercise is on bolstering capabilities useful in a wide range of scenarios to help preserve and bolster regional security, with simulated portions of the exercise based on a fictional adversary."

But the Beacon noted that Eagle Resolve was launched at a time when Iranian military leaders have issued "repeated threats" against the U.S. and announced they are producing anti-ship cruise missiles and building warships aimed at countering Western forces in the Gulf.

According to the report, Iranian naval officials vowed last year to "destroy the U.S. Navy," and revealed that the country would employ suicide attacks and drone strikes. Iran's open threats and deliberate attempts to intimidate the country's enemies have made the U.S. allies in the region increasingly jittery.

"Eagle Resolve will consist of a series of simulated ‘injects' to exercise participants' ability to respond as a multinational headquarters staff, followed by a series of tactical demonstrations of land, maritime, and air forces from several nations," CENTCOM said in a fact sheet.

"The exercise ends with a senior leader seminar to foster an environment for commanders to discuss issues of regional interest.

"Scenarios range from air defense concepts to border security operations and counterterrorism operations as well as consequence management. While participating nations have varying reasons for supporting Eagle Resolve, there is a common bond: we have a shared interest in regional security."

The U.S. personnel and allied forces have practiced helicopter operations involving seizing and searching ships, as well as amphibious landings, the Beacon noted, citing the official.

"Eagle Resolve is an excellent opportunity to improve our ability to partner with Gulf and international forces at the operational level and identify best practices in countering asymmetric threats," CENTCOM says.

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Three thousand U.S. military personnel are conducting a major exercise off Iran's coast in the Persian Gulf while the Pentagon declares that it does not "signal" a warning to the Islamic Republic, The Washington Free Beacon reported.
Pentagon, military exercise, Persian Gulf
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2015-26-23
Monday, 23 March 2015 12:26 PM
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