A mixed naval exercise launched today off the Saudi Red Sea coast of Jeddah. Led by the Western Fleet, the 'Red Wave 5' drill will include the participation of countries bordering the Red Sea, including Jordan, Egypt, Sudan, Djibouti, Yemen and observers from Somalia.
The Royal Saudi Land Forces, Royal Saudi Air Force and naval units of the Saudi Border Guard will also be taking part.
According to the Saudi Press Agency, Commander of the Western Fleet Rear Admiral Yahya Bin Mohammed Al-Asiri, explained that the drill aims to enhance maritime security for the countries bordering the Red Sea, protect territorial waters, strengthen military cooperation and to raise their combat readiness to ensure maritime security and freedom of navigation.
It has also been reported that the exercise will involve, for the first time Apache helicopters. In an interview yesterday with the Al-Ikhbariya channel, Al-Asiri said: "In this version, we have introduced a new element, which is the aviation of the ground forces, the Apache planes."
"The upcoming versions will witness more and more development according to the new units entering service," he added.
In January 2019, the kingdom hosted the first version of the Red Wave manoeuvre, with the participation of the same five coastal countries. The following year Saudi Arabia launched the Red Sea Council, described as a multilateral framework to cooperate on issues of security and enhance stability in the Red Sea region.