Gantz visits US Navy 5th Fleet during historic visit to Bahrain

On the second day of his visit to Bahrain, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, with his Bahraini counterpart, Abdulla bin Hasan Al Nuaimi, met Thursday with US 5th Fleet commander Vice Adm. Brad Cooper. Due to the Abraham accords and Israel’s move to CENTCOM, Israel’s work with the 5th fleet has “significantly increased,” Gantz noted.

The Israeli Navy will join 60 naval fleets for the US Navy-led ‘IMX’ International Naval Exercise,” the IDF said. “For the first time, our Flotilla 3 & Underwater Warfare Unit will train with the US 5th Fleet in the Red Sea.”

The Gantz visit is to end with a defense understanding, the first to be signed between Israel and a Gulf nation. Gantz arrived in Manama on Wednesday aboard the first Israeli Air Force flight that was allowed officially to cross through Saudi airspace. Before flying home, the defense minister will be received by King Hamad bin Issa Al Khalifa and the prime minister, Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

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