The six Gulf countries are planning to launch a joint naval force to better protect their sea borders from potential threats, a Kuwaiti defense official was quoted as saying in the state news agency KUNA.
According to Major General Ahmad Yussef Al Mulla, an advisor at the Ministry of Defense, the new force is expected to be formed in the coming months. It will be organised in a similar way to the GCC Peninsula Shield Force, which is an army comprising of forces pooled from the six Gulf countries to ensure security on the ground.
Al Mulla added that the proposed marine force will coordinate with other international fleets to combat terrorism and illegal operations. The joint force will also be handling the protection of the Gulf’s commercial routes and other economic interests.
The GCC countries have been beefing up security measures as regional unrest and geopolitical tension intensify.
Recently, they signed a GCC security pact that calls for the deportation of anyone accused of carrying out political activities against the state or found involved in actions compromising the security of the country.
The pact also allows members to seek military assistance from other states at times of unrest.
With the threat of Islamic State looming large in the region, the US too has stepped up its military forces in the region while Australia has an idle reserve force in the UAE.
Recently, the US Marine Corps announced that it will deploy around 2,300 troops- to be based in Kuwait- as part of a crisis management unit.
Currently, warships from the US Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain are also present in the region.