Although the participants are keeping the exercise’s scenario under wraps, debkafile’s military and intelligence sources are able to outline its five segments:
1. A practice operation to pry open the Strait of Hormuz should Iran try to block the waterway through which one-fifth of the world’s oil is exported – whether by deploying warships, scuttling old vessels, strewing sea mines or firing shore-to-ship missiles from the Iranian-controlled islands of Abu Musa, Great Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Sirri Island.
The combined US-Gulf force is practicing air and naval assaults against those Iranian island bases and the Revolutionary Guards Corps’ mainland facilities facing them from Bandar-e-Abbas, Bandar-e-Lengeh and Qeshm island.
They plan to cut off Iranian reinforcements en route to Hormuz.
2. They also aim to prevent Iranian air or sea assaults on the Persian Gulf emirates’ oil facilities and export terminals, focusing mainly on Saudi, Bahraini and Kuwaiti oil facilities and fields.
3. Air strikes are conducted against Iranian naval vessels, including speedboats, in a simulated exercise to head them off before they strike American aircraft carriers and warships or Gulf fleet vessels.
4. Testing the degree of coordination between US air, sea and marine forces and their Persian Gulf counterparts.
5. The Gulf exercise is in fact the sequel of Noble Dina 12, the US-Israeli-Greek war game conducted earlier this month in the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas. That war game practiced runs by Israeli fighter-bomber from their home bases to the big American facility on Crete, fueled in flight by American and Israeli tanker planes. The distance between the two points is roughly equivalent to the 1,200 kilometers between Israel and Iran.
Full article: Big US-Arab Gulf air force exercise draws Iranian warning to stop at once (DEBKAfile)