MANAMA, Bahrain–Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, Commander of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, and U.S. 5th Fleet, praised CMF for “making the region safer and more prosperous” during the 2021 Maritime Security Conference, July 14.
The annual conference was held at CMF headquarters in Bahrain and brought together representatives from CMF’s 34 member nations to discuss the year’s accomplishments in promoting lasting regional maritime security and future opportunities and challenges.
“This gathering is such a tremendous opportunity for the members of Combined Maritime Forces to strengthen our partnerships – and in the process continue to make the region safer and more prosperous,” said Cooper. “It’s a privilege to be part of such a vital and unified group.”
CMF leads international task forces that counter piracy, protect freedom of navigation from non-state actors, and disrupts the shipment of drugs and illegal arms. For example, in the past year, CMF-led forces have seized illegal narcotics amounting to a wholesale value of over $214 million.
“It is a significant achievement, that’s $214 million of narcotics that terrorist organizations and crime syndicates have now lost, and even more important, that are not on the streets of our nations,” said Commodore Ed Ahlgren, Deputy Commander of CMF.
During the conference, CMF partners committed to a new capacity-building initiative, strengthening training, and broadening expertise and resources. They also discussed the future, including unmanned systems, response capabilities to humanitarian disasters and rising non-state threats such as illegal fishing.