U.S. Naval Forces Central Command conducts persistent maritime operations to forward U.S. interests, deter and counter disruptive countries, defeat violent extremism and strengthen partner nations’ maritime capabilities in order to promote a secure maritime environment in the USCENTCOM area of responsibility.
U.S. Naval Forces Central Command will advance the interests of the United States and the security and prosperity of the region by building and effectively employing forward, capable and Coalition-focused forces across the full spectrum of maritime operations. We will endeavor to prevent conflict but remain prepared to win decisively when directed.
In order to accomplish our mission of supporting MSO in the region, we engage; perform visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS); protect key infrastructure nodes; deter and disrupt piracy; assist mariners in distress; provide humanitarian assistance and conduct combat operations.
Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/ Commander, 5th Fleet's area of responsibility encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean. This expanse, comprised of 20 countries, includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.
In 1879, USS Ticonderoga was the first U.S. warship to sail through the Strait of Hormuz. After World War II, U.S. and international interest in the Middle East began to rise.
In 1949, the U.S. Navy established a regular presence in the region, known as the Middle East Force. In 1950, the U.S. Navy leased office space from the British.
In 1971, when Bahrain achieved full independence, the U.S. Navy leased part of the former British base and named it Administrative Support Unit, Bahrain. The name was changed to Naval Support Activity, Bahrain in 1999, to reflect its broader support role.
In 1995, U.S. FIFTH Fleet and U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) were recommissioned to command the afloat units that rotationally deploy or surge from the United States plus a few smaller ships that are based in the Gulf for longer periods. Ships rotationally deploy to the U.S. FIFTH Fleet from the Pacific and Atlantic Fleets.
In February 2002 Combined Maritime Forces command was established to provide coordinated Coalition operations.