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8th August 2022 (6 Topics)

India begins cooperation with Bahrain-based Combined Maritime Forces


India Starts Working With The Combined Maritime Forces In Bahrain.


  • In April this year, during the India-US 2+2 India announced that it would be joining the CMF as an associate partner, in order to strengthen cooperation in regional security in the western Indian Ocean.
  • Last month, India formally commenced cooperation with the Bahrain-based multilateral partnership, Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). The modalities of the exact nature of cooperation were in place and they are now being worked out.

About CMF:

  • The Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) is a multinational maritime partnership, which exists to uphold the Rules-Based International Order (RBIO) by countering illicit non-state actors on the high seas and promoting 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 is Commanded by a U.S. Navy Vice Admiral, who also serves as Commander US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) and US Navy Fifth Fleet. All four commands are co-located at US Naval Support Activity Bahrain. In the immediate neighborhood.
  • The deputy commander of the CMF-B is a commodore of the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy.
  • India is the 35th member of this grouping. Pakistan is a full member of CMF.
  • It is comprised of four task forces:
    1. CTF 150 (maritime security and counter-terrorism),
    2. CTF 151 (counter-piracy) and
    3. CTF 152 (Arabian Gulf security and cooperation)
    4. CTF 153 (Maritime security in the Red Sea & Gulf of Aden
  • It is a flexible organization and members are not bound by either a political or military mandate.

Significance of CMF:

  • Protection of trade routes
  • Counter-terrorism
  • Counter-piracy
  • Curbing Illegal Fishing

Working of CMF and India’s Contribution:

  • CMF is a coalition of the willing and does not proscribe a specific level of participation from any member nation. The contribution from each country, therefore, varies depending on its ability to contribute assets and the availability of those assets at any given time.
  • CMF is a flexible organization and contributions can vary from the provision of a liaison officer at CMF HQ in Bahrain, to the deployment of warships or maritime reconnaissance aircraft. We can also call on warships not explicitly assigned to CMF to give Associated Support. This allows a warship to offer assistance to CMF whilst concurrently undertaking national tasking
  • India has 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.

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