Romania has joined a multinational maritime coalition in charge of protecting commercial shipping in the Middle East, US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) announced March 26.
The International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC) was launched by the US and immediately joined by the United Kingdom following a series of tanker hijackings in the region.
Headquartered in Bahrain with US 5th Fleet, IMSC previously included eight partner-nations. Romania becomes the ninth and newest member since Estonia joined in late-2020.
“We are excited to welcome Romania to the team,” said Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of NAVCENT, US 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces. “They have a proud naval tradition and we look forward to adding their skills and professionalism to one of our most essential and effective multinational organizations in the Middle East.”
Personnel from the Romanian Navy are initially slated to serve at IMSC’s headquarters.
The operational arm of IMSC, Coalition Task Force Sentinel, was formed four months after the establishment of IMSC in July 2019. The task force is charged with deterring state-sponsored malign activity and reassuring the merchant shipping industry in the Bab al-Mandeb and Strait of Hormuz.
In addition to Romania, IMSC member-nations include Albania, Bahrain, Estonia, Lithuania, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States.