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India began cooperation with Combined Maritime Forces (CMF)

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    World Affairs
  • Published
    9th Aug, 2022


Recently, India began cooperation with Bahrain-based Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).


  • 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 Combined Maritime Forces (CMF)

  • It is the US-backed counterterrorism coalition aimed at protecting international waters. It was established in 2002 with only 12 members.
  • The coalition was formed with like-minded partners to counter the threat of international terrorism and uphold the international rules-based order.
  • The coalition is headquartered in Bahrain.
  • It 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.
  • CMF is Commanded by the 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. 
  • It is comprised of four task forces-
    • CTF 150 (maritime security and counter-terrorism)
    • CTF 151 (counter-piracy)
    • CTF 152 (Arabian Gulf security and cooperation)
    • 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.
  • 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. 
  • When requested, CMF assets at sea will also respond to environmental and humanitarian incidents.

Significance of CMF

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


  • Participation in the CMF-B is voluntary — it’s mandated neither by a political agreement nor a military one.
  • The coalition has 34 members from all across the world.
  • Recently, India became an associate member of the maritime partnership.India is the 35th member of this grouping. 
    • Other Asian members (full members) include Pakistan, the Philippines, Seychelles, Singapore and Malaysia.

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