The commander of the International Maritime Security Construct’s (IMSC) Coalition Task Force (CTF) Sentinel visited USS Indianapolis (LCS 17) Sept. 26 to recognize the crew for its work in responding to maritime awareness calls in support of CTF Sentinel objectives.
CTF Sentinel’s commander, Royal Saudi Navy Commodore Saleh Aloufi, recognized Sailors who contributed to the ship’s handling of 166 maritime awareness calls, reaching up to 3,320 merchant vessels, during August and September.
Maritime awareness calls are the primary means by which CTF Sentinel deters state-sponsored malign activity. They reassure the merchant shipping industry by providing signs of a reliable presence.
The visit marks his first to a ship supporting CTF Sentinel since he assumed command in August.
“It is an honor to recognize the dedication of Indianapolis’ Sailors who have worked tirelessly to provide reassurance to our merchant shipping partners,” Aloufi said. “Ships such as Indianapolis are the backbone of our dynamic, multinational coalition, and I could not be more thankful for the professionalism displayed by this crew.”
During the visit, Aloufi witnessed a demonstration of the ship’s capabilities, and received a brief on how the mission package onboard Indianapolis is well suited for executing the CTF Sentinel mission.
“We are honored by Cdre. Aloufi’s visit, and we very much appreciate the opportunity to contribute to the vitally important mission of CTF Sentinel to deter state sponsored malign activity throughout the operating area. The partnership between the United States, United Kingdom, and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is vital in the quest to maintain global stability, and I am confident that Indianapolis’ legacy of service will continue to serve all of the partner nations well in this regard,” said Cmdr. Matthew Arndt, USS Indianapolis commanding officer.
Aloufi also took time to personally recognize Ensign McKenzie Eshelman, the ship’s first lieutenant, who served as part of the bridge team which participated in maritime awareness calls.
“For me, providing reassurance to the merchant vessels identified by CTF Sentinel’s team was a very rewarding mission,” said Eshelman. “Our work on Indianapolis directly supports the freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce.”
Headquartered in Bahrain, IMSC was established in September 2019. It promotes collaboration among member nations to deter threats and reassure regional mariners in and around the Strait of Hormuz and Bab al-Mandeb. Its operational task force, CTF Sentinel, was established a few months later to patrol maritime activity in the region. Current members include Albania, Bahrain, Estonia, Jordan, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States.
Source : Navy