Building relationships and working together with regional nations is vital to developing enduring maritime security in the key maritime region used by so many commercial ships in the Combined Maritime Forces’ (CMF) area of operations.
Only by building trust with the maritime community, through interaction at land and sea, can nations effectively pursue the common cause of overcoming security threats.
Pursuing the same goal, Commodore Asif Khaliq, Pakistan Navy, who is currently the Commander of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, recently visited Yemen as part of key leadership engagement.
During the visit, he met Major General Ahmed Ali Al-Ashwal, Chief of General Staff for Yemen Armed Forces, Major General Abdullah Salem Alnakhiy, Commander of Naval Forces and Coastal Defence and other senior officers from the Yemeni Armed Forces.
Major General Al-Ashwal warmly welcomed Commodore Khaliq and thanked him for visiting Yemen. He appreciated the efforts of CMF in countering terrorism and illicit activity in the maritime environment, emphasising the need to enhance cooperation amongst forces operating in the area for a common cause.
Commodore Khaliq said, “It was a great honour for me to meet Major General Al-Ashwal and his key commanders, and a good opportunity to discuss how the maritime community can work together to have the greatest impact on deterring terrorism.”
Commodore Khaliq conveyed the warm wishes of Vice Admiral John Miller, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. Fifth Fleet, Combined Maritime Forces who welcomes CMF engagement with the Yemeni Navy and Coast Guard, to enhance mutual cooperation in order to improve the security of the maritime environment.
Commodore Khaliq also presented an invitation letter to Major General Alnakhiy for participation in a forthcoming operation, scheduled to be held later in the year in the region.
In response, Major General Alnakhiy agreed to cooperate at all levels and gave positive response with regards to assigning Yemeni assets during the CTF 150 Focused Operation, saying, “Terrorism is the common enemy of all and cannot be defeated without enhanced cooperation among regional countries. We are determined to fight against terrorism and are ready to cooperate in this regard.”
Yemen is one of the most significant regional nations with a vast coastline. Building a common understanding of the security threats is necessary to inform operational decisions in the efforts to counter terrorism and other threats in the maritime environment.