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Kuwait Navy conducts Exercise Eager Defender 24 with US amid tensions with Iran.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to information published by the US DoD on January 29, 2024, the Kuwait Naval Force and Coast Guard, together with the U.S Naval Forces Central Command and U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command, have united for Exercise Eager Defender 24, a strategic maritime training operation.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 US Navy's cruiser USS Vella Gulf, patrol coastal ship USS Thunderbolt, Coast Guard patrol boat USCGC Monomoy and Kuwait Naval Force patrol boats KNS Istiqal and KNS Al Garoh. (Picture source: US DoD)

Conducted in Kuwait and the North Arabian Gulf from January 28 to February 7, this bilateral exercise led by Task Force 51/5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade aims to bolster mutual interoperability and military capabilities, reflecting both nations' dedication to regional stability and preparedness.

Exercise Eager Defender includes a comprehensive training program where U.S. Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers collaborate closely with Kuwaiti forces. The focus areas of this exercise encompass maritime security, board and search operations, harbor defense, unmanned systems handling, naval infantry tactics, and joint command and control strategies, culminating in a cooperative multinational amphibious assault.

This exercise is designed to enhance the tactical skills required to tackle regional security threats and foster stronger military cooperation between the United States and Kuwait. It's part of a series of annual exercises where the U.S. military collaborates with allied nations to maintain a high state of readiness for various crises and contingencies.


The country has faced various security challenges stemming from its geopolitical position in the Gulf region, particularly concerning its relations with neighboring Iran. Historically, Iran has been perceived as a source of threat to the security and stability of Kuwait and the broader Gulf region.

During the Invasion of Kuwait and Operation Desert Storm, Kuwait's Navy suffered significant losses, almost being completely destroyed. The United States has played a significant role in Kuwait's security, particularly since this operation.

This collaboration includes multi-domain military training, joint exercises, and support for ongoing operations in the region. However, Kuwait's military preparedness and readiness have lagged behind its Gulf Arab partners and Iran. The country's defense largely depends on U.S. protection, and there is a need for Kuwait to enhance its military capabilities and organizational approach to defense.

A notable event in Kuwait's naval history is the signing of the Khawr Abd Allah Protocols on November 11, 2008. This non-legally binding agreement between the heads of the Kuwaiti Naval Force and the Iraqi Navy was the first successful maritime bilateral military agreement for the coordinated use of the Khawr Abd Allah waterway since before the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

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