Photographic Assignment by CPL BRAD HANSON (RNZAF): With the HMNZS TE MANA – (New Zealand ANZAC Class Frigate). Along-side at Jebel Ali (UAE) and on patrol in the central and southern Arabian Gulf. July 2008. Images of the ship and ship’s people. IMAGE CAPTION: The Te Mana on the Arabian Gulf, near sunset. Taken from on of the ships RHIB DEEP CAPTION HMNZS TE MANA and Coalition Task Force 152 TE MANA and her ships’ company of 173 are in the Central and Southern Arabian Gulf conducting maritime security and support operations as part of Coalition Task Force 152. The ship is operating exclusively within international waters in the Central and Southern Arabian Gulf, a diverse area of around 20,000 square miles stretching from the Straits of Hormuz to a line stretching NE across the Gulf emanating from the border of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The main tasks involve developing a picture inside the Arabian Gulf of what normal patterns of activity are and engaging with the local mariners. This contributes to the CTF 152 aim of denying and disrupting attempts by terrorists to use the region in their activities whilst at the same time ensuring the unhindered use of the region for legitimate maritime uses such as fishing, gas and oil production and general trade. These operations assist in creating a secure environment on the seas, which leads to local and regional stability and prosperity. Because of the high volume of commercial traffic that flows in and out of this region, maritime security has an impact on global economic prosperity as well. The Royal New Zealand Navy has deployed its frigates to the Middle East previously, with TE MANA conducting deployments in 2003 and then again in 2004 following on from the sister ship TE KAHA’s deployment in late 2002/early 2003. Addition Information: The New Zealand Defence Force currently contributes to a wide range of peace support operations. For more information on this deployment and others, please contact Defen

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has recently disengaged from a US-led naval alliance responsible for safeguarding critical Gulf water routes, which play a crucial role in the international oil trade. The UAE officially communicated its withdrawal from the Combined Maritime Forces, a coalition consisting of 38 nations, approximately two months ago, as confirmed by a statement from its foreign ministry. However, no specific reasons were provided to explain the decision.

“As a result of our ongoing evaluation of effective security cooperation with all partners, two months ago, the UAE withdrew its participation in the Combined Maritime Forces,” said the statement carried by the official WAM news agency.

The Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), headquartered in Bahrain, was originally formed in 2001 with an initial partnership of 12 nations. Its operational focus lies in the strategically significant yet volatile Gulf waters, where incidents of tanker seizures and attacks have occurred in recent months.

While the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has temporarily suspended its active involvement, the CMF spokesperson emphasized that the UAE is still recognized as a partner nation within the coalition.

“The CMF still includes 38 partner nations, of which the UAE is one,” Commander Timothy Hawkins told AFP.

In the span of one week in late April and early May, Iran conducted the seizure of two tankers, one of which was empty and traveling between the UAE ports of Dubai and Fujairah. Furthermore, Iran was accused of carrying out a drone attack on an Israeli-owned tanker in November 2022, exacerbating tensions with the United States.

In response to perceived escalating harassment by Iran, the United States announced the deployment of additional military forces to the Gulf region earlier this month. The Gulf region serves as a critical pathway for approximately one-third of the world’s maritime oil transportation.

To demonstrate their commitment to regional security, Vice-Admiral Brad Cooper, the commander of the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, embarked on a transit through the Strait of Hormuz in the company of naval commanders from the United Kingdom and France aboard a guided-missile destroyer.

In turn, Iran asserted its ability to ensure the safety of Gulf waters by collaborating with neighboring countries.

“The UAE remains committed to responsibly ensuring the safety of navigation in its seas,” states the statement from the UAE while adding that the major oil exporter is “committed to peaceful dialogue and diplomatic engagement.”