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About Combined Maritime Forces (CMF)


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).


GS III: Security Challenges

About Combined Maritime Forces (CMF)


  • CMF is a multi-national naval partnership based in Bahrain, committed to promoting security, stability, and prosperity across approximately 3.2 million square miles of international waters, including some of the world’s most crucial shipping lanes.

Main Objectives

  • Defeating terrorism and preventing piracy.
  • Encouraging regional cooperation.
  • Promoting a safe maritime environment.

Key Functions

  • Countering violent extremism and terrorist networks in maritime areas of responsibility.
  • Collaborating with regional and other partners to enhance overall security and stability.
  • Strengthening the maritime capabilities of regional nations.
  • Responding to environmental and humanitarian crises upon request.

Task Forces

  • CMF is comprised of five task forces.


  • Co-located with US Naval Central Command and US Navy Fifth Fleet at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain.
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 and Mandate
  • Participation is voluntary, and no nation is obligated to carry out any duty it is unwilling to conduct.
  • Member nations are not bound by either political or military mandates.
  • CMF is flexible, with contributions ranging from providing a liaison officer at CMF HQ in Bahrain to supplying warships, support vessels, and maritime reconnaissance aircraft based on land.
  • Associated support can be provided by warships not explicitly assigned to CMF if they have the time and capacity while undertaking national tasking.
Command Structure
  • 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.
  • The Deputy Commander of CMF is a United Kingdom Royal Navy Commodore.
  • Other senior staff roles at CMF’s headquarters are filled by personnel from member nations.

May 2024