Analysts from the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) – Middle East recently visited the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) Headquarters in Bahrain for an open lecture on intelligence, security and reconnaissance (ISR) in the Gulf.
Nick Childs and Douglas Barrie from IISS spoke to a mixed group of CMF personnel on the various capabilities, roles and employment of ISR in the region by GCC countries as well as CMF nations including the US and Australia. They also discussed the current and potential future applications of assets to gather intelligence using airborne and space-based technologies and how this could improve awareness in maritime and littoral environments.
IISS is an international research institute that provides objective assessments on military, geopolitical and geo-economic developments that could lead to conflict. It promotes the development of policies that further global peace and security to maintain civilised international relations.
CMF member nations already contribute to the overall ISR mosaic in the Gulf and wider North Arabian Sea area for intelligence gathering and to help paint a clearer picture of the maritime environment in the operating area. CMF’s operating area stretches approximately 3.2 million square miles of sea from the Arabian Gulf, through the Strait of Hormuz, the Gulf of Aden, the Indian Ocean, the Bab-el-Mandeb and the Red Sea.
Lieutenant Colonel Dan Arsenault, Royal Canadian Air Force, CMF Air Coordination Element Chief said: “Many of the emergent capabilities among GCC member Navies and Air Forces will have a significant impact on maritime ISR in the region in the next decade, of which CMF stands to benefit in both improved awareness and the professional capacity of CMF staff. The IISS presentation provided an excellent overview of these systems against the backdrop of the changing security picture in the region.”