Australian Defence Force (ADF) support for the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC) has been strengthened with the deployment of Navy and Air Force members to the IMSC headquarters in Bahrain in the Middle East.

Australia has joined a coalition of seven nations, including the United States, United Kingdom, Albania, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, to promote maritime security and trade in the Gulf region.

Navy Warrant Officer Dean McLeod joined the IMSC in October as the operations room manager to lead a team, with representatives from all contributing nations.

“It’s been an interesting challenge working with professionals from across the region who each bring valuable and unique experiences,” Warrant Officer McLeod said.

“My aim is to work them into a single integrated team as we bridge language and cultural barriers.”

This team is responsible for ensuring headquarters delivers information from, and provides direction to, warships at sea and supporting aircraft.

It must also foster effective liaison with the merchant shipping community.

While majority of the Australian contingent was drawn from Navy, Squadron Leader Carl Godwin from Air Force provides the IMSC with aviation specialist knowledge.

In addition to providing headquarters staff, the ADF will also support the IMSC by deploying an Anzac-class frigate to the Middle East in 2020.

An Air Force P-8A Poseidon and crew also deployed in support of the IMSC in October for one month to provide airborne intelligence and surveillance.