NAVCENT commander meets his Saudi counterpart in Riyadh

WASHINGTON, Commander of US Naval Forces Central Command Jim Malloy travelled to Riyadh Sunday to meet with Vice Admiral Fahad Al-Ghofaily, Commander of the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF), where the visit comes following the attack on two Saudi oil facilities last month, the Command announced Tuesday.

In a statement, NAVCENT said that the visit “focused on RSNF’s lead role in regional efforts to strengthen and reinforce defenses against Iranian aggression.” “Engaging and operating closely with regional counterparts is essential to maintain deterrence,” Malloy said.

He added that Saudi Arabia has been a “key ally in promoting regional security, and Vice Admiral Gofaily’s leadership and partnership is key as we coordinate defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well as all regional partners and those nations across the globe who rely on maritime commerce in and out of the Middle East.” He affirmed that this visit “was an opportunity to discuss our mutual efforts going forward to coordinate defense against provocation and attack.” The statement noted that the US 5th Fleet area of operations “encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean.” “The expanse is comprised of 20 countries and includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen,” the statement indicated.

Source: Kuwait News Agency