What is Combined Maritime Forces (CMF)?

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INS Talwar of the Indian Navy recently seized 940 kg of drugs in the Arabian Sea as part of an operation led by the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).

About Combined Maritime Forces (CMF)

  • It is a multi-national naval partnership based in Bahrain 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.
  • It is comprised of five task forces:
  • Member Nations: Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, India, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, Türkiye, UAE, United Kingdom, United States, and Yemen.
  • Participation is purely voluntary. No nation is asked to carry out any duty that it is unwilling to conduct.
  • The member nations 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.
  • It can also call on war ships 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. 
  • Headquarters are co-located with US Naval Central Command and US Navy Fifth Fleet at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain.
  • Command:
    • CMF is commanded by a U.S. Navy Vice Admiral, who also serves as Commander of the US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) and US Navy Fifth Fleet.
    • CMF’s Deputy Commander is a United Kingdom Royal Navy Commodore. 
    • Other senior staff roles at CMF’s headquarters are filled by personnel from member nations.

Q1: Which all countries border the Persian Gulf?

Eight countries border the Persian Gulf, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman (Musandam exclave) and Iran.

Source: Indian Navy seizes 940kg drugs in Arabian Sea in 1st interdiction as CMF Member