Combined Maritime Forces Hosts Young Leaders Program

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob Vernier | November 22, 2023

MANAMA, Bahrain --

Combined Maritime Forces hosted representatives of the Manama Dialogue Middle East and North Africa Young Leaders’ Program at the CMF headquarters in Manama, Bahrain, Nov. 17.

Participants attended a Q&A session with the CMF commander, Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, and other key leaders from CMF as well as the International Maritime Security Construct. Attendees also visited a display of maritime unmanned systems, hosted by Naval Forces Central Command’s Task Force 59, the first unmanned and artificial intelligence task force.

“As the largest maritime coalition in the world, we are invested in promoting maritime security across regional waters,” said Cooper. “Bringing young minds together for conversations on these topics allows for a greater multinational engagement within the organization and community.”

The event gave these up-and-coming strategic thinkers from across the region a platform to engage with top military leaders. Some of the topics they discussed included the integration and advancement of unmanned systems among regional partners to help ensure the free flow of commerce in vital waterways.

"We were very thankful that Vice Adm. Cooper and the other naval leaders took the time to talk with us and address many policy issues concerning people in the region," said Maha Ghazi, a Young Leaders participant.

CMF, a 38-nation naval partnership, upholds the international rules-based order by promoting security and stability across 3.2 million square miles of water encompassing some of the world’s most important shipping lanes.

IMSC promotes collaboration among member nations to deter threats and reassure regional mariners in and around the Strait of Hormuz and Bab al-Mandeb. Current members include Albania, Bahrain, Estonia, Jordan, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States.