Commander Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, Commodore Mal Wise and a small contingent of his team, recently called on key regional leaders in East Africa during the period 9-13 January 2018 as they look to strengthening relationships, promoting the role of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) and the need for greater regional cooperation in maritime security.

Beginning in Nairobi, Kenya, Commodore Wise met with Cabinet Secretary Minister for Defence Rachelle Omamo, Major General Sampson Mwathethe (Kenyan Chief of Defence Force) and his Vice Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Joseph Kasoon. In the second phase, the team travelled to Mombassa, Kenya, to meet with the County Governor, His Excellency Hasson Ali Joho before finally engaging with Tanzanian Naval personnel and Commissioner General Rogers William Siyanga of the Drug Control Enforcement Agency.

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This series of visits focused on the importance of regional countries working cooperatively alongside CMF and sought to enhance effective information sharing, capacity building and the provision of technical assistance. It is cooperation between international coalitions like CMF and local law enforcement agencies that further support regional law enforcement’s ability in bringing weapons and narcotics smugglers to justice, which contributes to positive outcomes for the CMF mission of ensuring a safer maritime environment for all in the region.

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During the visit, Commodore Wise took the opportunity to meet with leaders from key organisations including the United Nations Somalia-Eritrea Monitoring Group, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and United Nations Women. In East Africa, these groups play a critical role and are dedicated to sustainable peace and security efforts. Multi-level collaboration between regional, national and international groups like CMF ensures that consistent effort is focused on empowering regions to reduce terrorist funding, recruitment, as well as religious extremism that can create instability and suffering across the globe. The recent visits between CTF 150 and East African leaders reinforced the positive relationships that CMF Commanders have built over the years and highlighted the important role of CMF in regional security.