NAVCENT Commander Addresses Maritime Security at Regional Summit

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jordan Crouch | December 09, 2020

MANAMA, Bahrain – Vice Adm. Samuel Paparo, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT), U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), participated in the 16th Regional Security Summit of the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) Manama Dialogue 2020, Dec. 4-6.

The IISS Manama Dialogue takes place in Bahrain annually, offering international representatives an opportunity to discuss policies, security concerns and challenges in the Middle East.

During the summit, Paparo spoke on a panel that focused on defense diplomacy and modernization in the region.

“[We] must pace this advanced technology by modernizing ourselves, modernizing our concepts and modernizing our equipment,” said Paparo. “And this must move apace with the other instruments of national power.”

Paparo also emphasized the impact and importance CMF has had in the region.

“[CMF] is a construct that has endured for the last 20 years,” said Paparo. “It is oriented against threats that the entire world can agree on as a national mandate. In the last few weeks this force has interdicted tons and tons of narcotics that otherwise would have gone into the veins of young people, destroying minds, destroying families and fueling and financing terrorism throughout the world.”

Paparo cited the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC) as another example of regional cooperation. The construct includes member nations Albania, Australia, Bahrain, Lithuania, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Estonia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States.

While attending the summit, Paparo also met with several officials including Joel Rayburn, U.S. Special Envoy for Syria; Gen. Fayyadh Hamed Al-Ruwaili, Chief of the General Staff of the Saudi Arabian Armed Forces; and Miguel Berger, State Secretary of the German Federal Foreign Office.

During these meetings, Paparo discussed how partnerships are the key to ensuring security in the region and how countries benefit from working together.

After the summit concluded, Paparo met with Egyptian Ambassador to Bahrain His Excellency Yasser Shaban and Egypt’s Assistant Minister of Defense for International Relations Maj. Gen. Mohamed Salah el-Din Hasan at the NAVCENT headquarters to discuss the mission and capabilities of CMF.

CMF is a multi-national naval partnership, which exists to promote security, stability and prosperity across approximately 3.2 million square miles of international waters, which encompass some of the world’s most important shipping lanes.