Combined Maritime Forces (CMF)

A 32-nation naval partnership

CMF Leadership

Vice Admiral John Aquilino

Commander U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet, and Combined Maritime Forces

VADM AquilinoVice Admiral John Aquilino

Vice Adm. John Aquilino is a native to Huntington, New York. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1984, earning a Bachelor of Science in Physics. He subsequently entered flight training and earned his wings in August 1986.

Operationally, he has served in numerous fighter squadrons flying the F-14 A/B Tomcat and the F-18 C/E/F Hornet. His fleet assignments include the Ghost Riders of Fighter Squadron (VF) 142 and the Black Aces of VF-41. He commanded the World Famous Red Rippers of VF-11, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, and Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 2. He has made several extended deployments in support of Operation Deny Flight, Deliberate Force, Southern Watch, Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

Ashore, Aquilino’s assignments include duties as an adversary instructor pilot flying the A-4, F-5, and F-16N aircraft for the Challengers of VF-43; operations officer of Strike Weapons and Tactics School, Atlantic; flag aide to the vice chief of naval operations; special assistant for Weapons Systems and Advanced Development in the Office of the Legislative Affairs for the Secretary of Defense; director of Air Wing Readiness and Training, for Commander, Naval Air Forces, Atlantic Fleet and executive assistant to the commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command.

His flag assignments include director of Strategy and Policy (J5), U.S. Joint Forces Command; deputy director, Joint Force Coordinator (J31), the Joint Staff; commander, CSG-2, director of Maritime Operations, U.S. Pacific Fleet, and deputy chief of Naval Operations for Operations, Plans and Strategy.

Aquilino graduated from the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN), the Joint Forces Staff College and completed Harvard Kennedy School’s Executive Education Program in National and International Security.

Aquilino assumed duties of commander U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT), U.S. 5th Fleet (C5F), and Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) on 19th September 2017.

His awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, as well as several other personal unit and campaign awards. He has accumulated more than 5,100 mishap free flight hours and over 1,150 carrier-arrested landings.

Commodore Steve Dainton CBE

Deputy Commander Combined Maritime Forces (DCCMF) and Commander United Kingdom Maritime Component Command (UKMCC)

20170629_PJHQ_KIPION_Cdre_DAINTON_UKMCC.jpgCommodore Steve Dainton CBE

Born in Liverpool and educated at Liverpool Blue Coat School, Commodore Steve Dainton joined the Royal Navy in 1987. His early career was largely spent at sea in a variety of ships, including Command of HMS Quorn (Hunt Class MCMV).  After qualifying as a Principal Warfare Officer and conducting further seagoing and staff appointments, he graduated from the Advanced Command and Staff Course at JSCSC Shrivenham where he gained an MA in Defence Studies.  After promotion to Commander in 2004, he was appointed as Commanding Officer of HMS St Albans (Type 23 Frigate) and, throughout his time in Command, the ship was involved in maritime security operations in the Arabian Sea, energy security patrols in the Northern Arabian Gulf and the evacuation of civilians from Beirut.  Subsequently, he joined the Directorate of Operational Capability in the Ministry of Defence working in a small team responsible for identifying and reporting strategic capability risk to Defence Ministers and Chiefs of Staff.  In 2009, he completed an operational tour as Staff Operations Officer to the UK Maritime Component Commander in Bahrain prior to joining the UK Maritime Battle Staff specifically employed in the Operational HQ in the EU Counter Piracy mission.

Promoted to Captain in 2010, he took Command of HMS CUMBERLAND (Type 22 Frigate) and deployed to the Gulf undertaking a variety of missions in the Arabian Gulf and Gulf of Aden as well as being involved in the evacuation of civilians from Benghazi and subsequent operations off Libya, a period for which he was awarded a CBE.  Returning to the Ministry of Defence in 2011, he was employed in Navy Resources and Plans where, as Captain Navy Plans, he was responsible for advising, influencing and determining the size, capability and structure of the current and future Royal Navy.  In 2013, he was appointed in Command of HMS COLLINGWOOD, the Navy’s largest training establishment and was responsible for overseeing the delivery of individual training to the RN’s warfare and weapon engineering officers and ratings.  On promotion to Commodore in 2015 he was assigned to the ACOS(Trg) role in FOST where he led the development of governance, strategy and policy for individual and collective training and education across the maritime training spectrum.  A graduate of HCSC, he is due to take over as UK Maritime Component Commander.

Commodore Dainton lives in Portsmouth with his wife, Cal, and his 2 sons – Joe (1996) and Sam (1997).  His love of football and rugby is nowadays restricted to being a spectator but he remains an ardent supporter of his beloved Everton!