CMF Hosts Maritime Security Conference

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin Steinberg, U.s. Naval Forces Central Command | March 14, 2018

MANAMA, Bahrain -- The Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) commander hosted a conference onboard Naval Station Bahrain for more than 150 multi-national military leaders representing 31 partner nations.

Vice Adm.Chris Aquilino, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. 5th Fleet/Combined Maritime Forces kicked off the semi-annual Maritime Security Conference by discussing the importance of international partnerships and alliances in the region in order to combat counter piracy and all potential threats to maritime security in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.

He made a point to highlight the hard work and dedication of the Combined Maritime Forces and the value of their role in the region.

"This group can get together and operate seamlessly for all the right reasons,” said Aquilino. So I continue to hold this force up as an example and beacon of what right looks like in the world when it comes to operations and maritime security."

The objective of this year's conference was for multi-national leaders to actively communicate about challenges, solutions and ultimately, the way forward in maritime strategy. The members were dispersed into working groups, which assisted in streamlining the discussion topics.

"The working groups are designed for you to have input and to make sure that we all have the same sight picture from everybody's lens," said Aquilino at the beginning of the conference.

Royal Navy Commodore Steve Dainton, deputy commander of the Combined Maritime Forces, addressed the conference, acknowledging that CMF is effective because of the enduring partnership of its nations.

“The strength of CMF is the willingness of our nations to contribute to maritime security tasks,” said Dainton. “Your individual contributions undoubtedly provide legitimacy to the organization.”

CMF is a unique multi-national collective of 32 like-minded nations, dedicated to promoting security and free flow of commerce across 3.2 million square miles of international waters in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Somali Basin, the Indian Ocean and the Gulf. CMF’s main focus areas are disrupting terrorism, preventing piracy, reducing illegal activities, and promoting a safe maritime environment for all.

U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The expanse is comprised of 20 countries and 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.