The Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) is a multinational naval partnership, which exists to promote security, stability and prosperity across approximately 3.2 million square miles of international waters, which encompass some of the world’s most important shipping lanes.
CMF’s main focus areas are defeating terrorism, preventing piracy, encouraging regional cooperation, and promoting a safe maritime environment.
CMF conducts Maritime Security Operations, counters terrorism and narcotics smuggling in maritime areas of responsibility; works with regional and other partners to improve overall security and stability; helps strengthen regional nations’ maritime capabilities and, when requested, responds to environmental and humanitarian crises.
- Includes three Combined Task Forces:
- CTF 150 (Maritime Security Operations and Counter-Terrorism)
- CTF 151 (Counter Piracy)
- CTF 152 (Maritime Security Operations in the Arabian Gulf)
- 32 member nations: Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Malaysia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, The Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, United Kingdom, United States and Yemen.
- Commanded by a U.S. Navy Vice Admiral, who also serves as Commander US Navy Central Command (NAVCENT) and US Navy Fifth Fleet. All three commands are co-located at US Naval Support Activity Bahrain.
- Deputy Commander is a UK Royal Navy Commodore. Other senior staff roles at CMF headquarters are filled by personnel from member nations.
CMF nations are united in their desire to protect the free flow of commerce, improve maritime security and to deter illicit activity in the CMF Area of Operations. CMF, however, does not proscribe a specific level of participation from any member nation, nor is any CMF nation asked to carry out any duty that it is unwilling to conduct. The contribution from each country, therefore, varies depending on its ability to contribute assets and the availability of those assets at any given time.
The 32 nations that comprise CMF are not bound by either a fixed political or military mandate. CMF is a flexible organisation. Contributions can vary from the provision of a liaison officer at CMF HQ in Bahrain, to the deployment of warships or maritime reconnaissance aircraft. We can also call on warships not explicitly assigned to CMF to give Associated Support. This allows a warship to offer assistance to CMF whilst concurrently undertaking national tasking.