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The growing integration of unmanned systems in military forces requires unique training in manned-unmanned teaming to build trust between the combatants and their robotic teammates.

U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) has recently established a new, first of its kind, task force to rapidly integrate unmanned systems and artificial intelligence with maritime operations in the 5th Fleet area of operations. This area includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The region’s unique geography, climate, and strategic importance offer an ideal environment for innovation.

Task Force 59 is expected to develop and integrate unmanned systems and AI as a means to enhance maritime domain awareness and increase deterrence.

The task force would rely heavily on regional and coalition partnerships.

The staff includes experienced operators with region-specific expertise, including directors for unmanned systems, and will lead unmanned exercises, task force integration, deal with cyber, AI, and space, etc. 

In the coming weeks, the task force aims to build trust and confidence in human-machine teaming through a series of operations at sea. International Maritime Exercise (IMX) 22, slated for next year, will provide NAVCENT a real-world opportunity to demonstrate the resiliency and scalability of human-machine teaming technologies.

IMX-22 will include more than 60 nations and international organizations and features the extensive use of unmanned systems in various operational scenarios designed to challenge the technology in a dynamic environment and ultimately enhance partner capabilities through manned and unmanned teaming, as reported by