March 6th 2019 saw Ambassadors and Senior National Representatives (SNRs) from across the region taking part in maritime updates from the US-led Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).
For the last 17 years, the nations within CMF have helped maintain the maritime security of over 3.2 million square miles of ocean from the Red Sea through the Gulf of Aden and into the Western Indian Ocean. Their tasking also includes counter-piracy and Gulf Maritime Security, which enables maritime trade to go about its business unhindered.
The nations and partner organisations who were able to attend, met at the organisation’s headquarters in Manama, Bahrain, to gain first-hand experience of the range of missions and tasks undertaken by the naval and air assets of the CMF’s coalition forces.
Vice Admiral Malloy, USN, Commander CMF welcomed the distinguished guests before introducing Commodore Dainton, RN, Deputy Commander CMF, who said: “The annual Ambassadors’ Day provided an opportunity to promote what CMF does and to demonstrate to senior representatives from CMF member nations exactly how the 33 nation coalition are using their naval and air units in the region.”
The Ambassadors were given a tour of the CMF Headquarters and taken to the “Ship-in-a-Box”, run by the US Coast Guard. The “Ship-in-a-Box” is a first-rate training facility, which allows the Coalition Forces’ marines, sailors and soldiers to train together and learn the best techniques from the course and from the other nations taking part in the training when boarding a suspected dhow that may be carrying narcotics or charcoal.
Vice Admiral Malloy added: “CMF was originally created to provide a means for ally and partner collaboration at sea in an anti-terrorism role following 9/11. In the subsequent years, the mission set has expanded pro-actively – promoting and facilitating a more secure maritime environment across the Middle East, promoting legitimate commerce while deterring and countering illicit and malign activity such as terrorism, piracy, and drug smuggling.”
The importance of sharing information including the current maritime picture with Ambassadors and SNRs remains key to the continued support of like-minded nations and organisations to the maritime security of the region.