Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) was well represented at the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (DIMDEX) 2014, where both the Commander and Deputy Commander spoke to delegates about maritime security and Gulf cooperation.
Vice Admiral John W. Miller, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet, Combined Maritime Forces and Commodore Keith Blount OBE Royal Navy, United Kingdom Maritime Component Commander, Deputy Commander, Combined Maritime Forces, presented at the Middle East Naval Commanders Conference (MENC) on 26 March, which ran alongside DIMDEX.
Vice Admiral Miller highlighted the fundamental importance of maritime security not just to the region but to the world. He said: “Nations the world over depend on the sea, and the freedom of movement at sea to sustain their economies. Security in the Gulf is critical to security across the region and across the globe. I believe that the key to maintaining security here is partnership.”
Commodore Blount emphasised the strategic importance of the Gulf region to maritime nations. He noted the Strait of Hormuz and the Bab al Mandeb Strait combined have over 65,000 cargo ships travelling through them each year. Those vessels carry nearly 20 million barrels of oil per day.
He said: “CMF works with regional and other partners to improve overall security and stability in the Gulf. We help build maritime capacity to help counter terrorist and piracy threats in the Gulf; ensuring the safe use by legitimate users and, when requested, will continue to respond to environmental and humanitarian crises.”
He said that CMF, alongside NATO, the EU and other regional allies, will continue to work to improve maritime security in the region.
“Cooperation with CMF members, other nations and commercial organisations is key to future success. We will work with all parties that have a shared interest in freedom of maritime movement and security in the Gulf,” he said.
Over 20 ships were present at the Doha Commercial Port for DIMDEX. Many had contributed to the CMF mission in recent times, such as Combined Task Force (CTF) 150’s Her Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) Darwin and CTF 150 and CTF 152’s French Ship (FS) Jean Bart.