In News: The Indian Navy has formally commenced its cooperation with the Bahrain-based multilateral partnership, Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), as an ‘associate member’.
About Combined Maritime Forces (CMF)
- CMF is a multi-national naval partnership 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 counter-narcotics, counter-smuggling, suppressing piracy, encouraging regional cooperation, and engaging with regional and other partners to strengthen relevant capabilities in order to improve overall security and stability, and promoting a safe maritime environment free from illicit non-state actors.
- The 34 nation grouping is commanded by a U.S. Navy Vice Admiral, who also serves as Commander U.S. Naval Forces CENTCOM and U.S. Fifth Fleet.
- All three commands are co-located at U.S. Naval Support Activity Bahrain. In the immediate neighbourhood, Pakistan is a full member of CMF.
- When requested, CMF assets at sea will also respond to environmental and humanitarian incidents.
CMF has four Combined Task Forces:
- CTF 150 (Maritime Security Operations outside the Arabian Gulf)
- CTF 151 (Counter-Piracy)
- CTF 152 (Maritime Security Operations inside the Arabian Gulf)
- CTF 153 (Red Sea Maritime Security)
- It is a flexible organisation and members are not bound by either a political or military mandate.
- 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.
- India has in the past cooperated with CMF on various occasions.
- For instance, the CMF’s CTF 151 has coordinated with Indian and Chinese warships deployed on anti-piracy duties to patrol the Maritime Security Transit Corridor.
India and CMF
- At the India-US 2+2 in April this year, India had announced that it would join the CMF as an Associate Partner.
- Joining the CMF is the latest in a series of multilateral engagements by the Indian Navy as part of India’s widening military diplomacy.
- Commitments to resources and personnel are limited for Associate membership and it will be cooperative engagement based on the needs and requirements.
Source: The Hindu