Combined Maritime Forces (CMF)

A 38-nation naval partnership

Combined Maritime Forces (CMF)

The Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) is a multinational maritime partnership, which exists to uphold the Rules-Based International Order (RBIO) by countering illicit non-state actors on the high seas and promoting 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.

What we do

CMF’s main focus areas are counter-narcotics, counter-smuggling, suppressing piracy, encouraging regional cooperation, and engaging with regional and other partners to strengthen relevant capabilities in order to improve overall security and stability, and promoting a safe maritime environment free from illicit non-state actors. When requested, CMF assets at sea will also respond to environmental and humanitarian incidents.

  • CMF has four Combined Task Forces: 
    • CTF 150 (Maritime Security Operations outside the Arabian Gulf)
    • CTF 151 (Counter-Piracy)
    • CTF 152 (Maritime Security Operations inside the Arabian Gulf)
    • CTF 153 (Red Sea Maritime Security)
    • CTF 154 (Maritime Security Training)

Who we are

  • CMF has 38 member nations: Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, India, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, the Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, Türkiye, UAE, United Kingdom, United States, and Yemen.
  • CMF is Commanded by a U.S. Navy Vice Admiral, who also serves as Commander US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) and US Navy Fifth Fleet. All four commands are co-located at US Naval Support Activity Bahrain.
  • CMF’s Deputy Commander is a United Kingdom Royal Navy Commodore. Other senior staff roles at CMF’s headquarters are filled by personnel from member nations.

Find out more about the current CMF leadership.

CMF Headquarter Staff outside Combined Maritime Forces Headquarters, Bahrain – February 2022

How CMF works

CMF nations are united in their desire to uphold the IRBO by protecting the free flow of commerce, improving maritime security, and deterring illicit activity by non-state actors in the CMF Area of Operations.

CMF is a coalition of the willing and does not proscribe a specific level of participation from any member nation. The contribution from each country, therefore, varies depending on its ability to contribute assets and the availability of those assets at any given time.

The 38 nations that comprise CMF are not bound by either a fixed political or military mandate. CMF is a flexible organisation. Contributions can vary from the provision of a liaison officer at CMF HQ in Bahrain to the deployment of warships or maritime reconnaissance aircraft. We can also call on warships not explicitly assigned to CMF to give Associated Support. This allows a warship to offer assistance to CMF whilst concurrently undertaking national tasking.

CTF Command History

CTF-150 Command HistoryNo of TimesCTF 151-Command HistoryNo of timesCTF-152 Command HistoryNo of timesCTF-153 Command HistoryNo of timesCTF-154 Command HistoryNo of times
NZ 1UK1  
Combined Task Force Command History by Country