Egypt has become the 34th member of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), a multinational coalition committed to countering illicit non-state actors on the high seas and promoting security, stability and prosperity.
Vice Admiral Samuel Paparo, command of US Naval Forces, US 5th Fleet and CMF, welcomed Egypt’s membership while visiting Alexandria on 12 April, the US Navy reports.
“Today is a historic moment as Egypt enters into our enduring coalition,” said Paparo. “Egypt is an important partner in ensuring stability in the region, and we are honored to welcome Egypt’s partnership in our mission focused on making the region and world a safer place.”
CMF’s area of operations encompasses some of the world’s most important shipping lanes with more than 3 million square miles of international waters, including the key chokepoints of the Suez Canal, Bab al Mandeb and Strait of Hormuz.
“Egypt brings a wealth of operational experience in the region and maritime capabilities to CMF, and now provides coalition partners on both sides of the Red Sea, a waterway of significant strategic importance accounting for 10 percent of the world’s trade,” said Paparo. “Egypt’s membership will improve mutual awareness and ability to operate in the central and northern Red Sea.”
CMF was established in 2002 and provides military assets, with partner nation rotations of Coalition Task Forces (CTFs) and staff to the CMF headquarters in Manama, Bahrain. The three CTFs of CMF include CTF 150 with a focus on maritime security operations throughout the area, CTF 151 conducting counter piracy operations, and CTF 152 focuses on maritime security in the Arabian Gulf.
CMF Deputy Commander Commodore Ed Alhgren, OBE, of the Royal Navy, said, “I am excited to welcome Egypt to the CMF. From my time as the United Kingdom’s Defence Attache in Cairo, I have great respect for the Egyptian Navy and I am confident they will make a significant contribution to the construct.”
Paparo concluded the visit to Alexandria by thanking Vice Admiral Ahmed Khaled, commander of the Egyptian Navy for the increased cooperation and combined operations in the Red Sea.
“With Egypt’s entry into CMF, this cooperation and interoperability will only grow,” said Paparo.