By By U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs
| July 10, 2021
Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT), U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) met with United Arab Emirates (UAE) defense leaders to discuss the UAE’s continued commitment to improving regional maritime security as a member of CMF and the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC) during a visit to Abu Dhabi, July 6-7.
While in the UAE, Cooper met with UAE Naval Forces Commander Rear Adm. Pilot Staff Maj. Gen. Sheikh Saeed bin Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, UAE Armed Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Hamad Muhammad Thani Al Rumaithy, and Critical Infrastructure and Coastal Protection Authority General Director Brig. Gen. Ahmen al-Belushi.
“The UAE’s continued commitment to the CMF and IMSC missions has been key to our success. Their Armed Forces’ participation in patrols as part of CTF 152, and in multi-lateral exercises like the International Maritime Exercise supports our ability to conduct successful training and operations,” said Cooper. "I applaud their significant contribution to maritime security and look forward to enhancing our partnership."
Cooper and his UAE counterparts concluded the visit emphasizing the importance of naval partnerships to ensure freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in the region. The UAE is a longtime member of CMF, an enduring multinational coalition formed in 2002 to counter illicit non-state actors on the high seas and promote security, stability, and prosperity.
The 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.