The Middle East region’s largest maritime exercise, International Maritime Exercise (IMX) 2023, began its operational phase on March 2.

The opening ceremony was held at the U.S. 5th Fleet's headquarters in Bahrain.

The ceremony capped a week of academic discussions covering a series of topics including the naval planning process.

IMX 2023 is an 18-day naval training event hosted by U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT).

This year’s iteration is combined with exercise Cutlass Express, which is led by U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa.

The combined exercises include 7,000 personnel, 35 ships, and 30 unmanned and artificial intelligence systems from more than 50 nations.

Senior officers from United Arab Emirates and France are serving as the deputy commander and vice commander, respectively.

This is the eighth iteration of IMX since its establishment in 2012.

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