Gulf of Oman - A multinational trio of ships conducted the trilateral exercise Intrepid Sentinel in the Gulf of Oman.

The U.S. Navy's guided-missile destroyer USS Shoup (DDG 86), the U.K. Royal Navy's Duke-class frigate HMS Monmouth (F 235), and the French Marine Nationale's anti-air destroyer FS Jean Bart (D 615) participated in the exercise.

Intrepid Sentinel is designed to increase interoperability between the three nations and reduce response time to establish a coordinated international maritime coalition with in order to counter the complex challenges in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.

"This was a great exercise," said Cmdr. Ted Wiederholt, commanding officer aboard Shoup. "This exercise brought together the United Kingdom, French, and U.S. navies in an operational environment where we successfully built proficiency across multiple warfare areas, strengthened already strong naval relationships, and built new personal relationships that allowed all of us improved warfighting integration."

During the exercise, the ships conducted multiple operations that branched into the air, and undersea and surface warfare areas. The multinational trio was involved in an air defense exercise, a combined anti-submarine exercise, a visit, board, search and seizure event and a photo exercise.

"This exercise provided an opportunity to demonstrate our professionalism while warfighting together in this area, said French Marine Nationale Lt. Denis Giraudion, Jean Bart's air defense officer and air intercept officer. "It was a pleasure to visit USS Shoup after a one-month deployment with Carrier Strike Group 11."

Intrepid Sentinel helped improve the warfighting integration of allies to optimize combat effectiveness and efficiency against conventional and irregular threats.

"Intrepid Sentinel has provided a great opportunity to practice working together as friends and allies said U.K. Royal Navy Sub-Lt. Alfred Pace, Monmouth's 2nd officer of the watch. "It helped us understand how each country's navy operates to better our chances of winning at sea."

Monmouth's leadership agreed this collaboration at sea was beneficial to everyone involved.

"Interoperability with key partner nations is critical to conducting operations," said U.K. Royal Navy Cmdr. Ian Feasey, Monmouth's commanding officer. "Exercise Intrepid Sentinel has allowed us to hone and refine our collective fighting capability, ensuring we remain at high readiness to provide a multinational response to emerging situations or crises."

Shoup is deployed in the 5th Fleet area of operations (AOO) with Nimitz Carrier Strike Group conducting maritime security operations to reassure allies and partners, preserve freedom of navigation, and maintain the free flow of commerce.

The U.S. 5th Fleet AOO encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The expanse comprises 20 countries and includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.