Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) is a multi-national 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 counters violent extremism and terrorist networks 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.
- Comprised of three task forces: CTF 150 (maritime security and counter-terrorism), CTF 151 (counter piracy) and CTF 152 (Arabian Gulf security and cooperation).
- 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 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 from personnel from member nations, including Australia, France, Italy and Denmark.
Participation is purely voluntary. No nation is asked to carry out any duty that it is unwilling to conduct. The contribution from each country 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 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 supply of warships or support vessels in task forces, and maritime reconnaissance aircraft based on land. We can also call on warships not explicitly assigned to CMF to give associated support, which is assistance they can offer if they have the time and capacity to do so whilst undertaking national tasking.