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Maritime Security Operations Key to Regional Stability, Security

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS071011-13
Release Date: 10/11/2007 4:46:00 PM

From Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/5th Fleet/Combined Maritime Forces Public Affairs

MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- The combination of persistent, credible naval and air power and consistent Maritime Security Operations contribute to regional security and stability, an important theme for Vice Adm. Kevin J. Cosgriff, commander of 5th Fleet and commander, Combined Maritime Forces.

To reinforce the important role partnerships play in achieving security and stability, Cosgriff traveled to Central Asia in late September, where he met with key defense officials in Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan.

“We are looking at ways to explore cooperative engagement opportunities with important countries in the region,” Cosgriff said. “The Navy has been in the Gulf region for 60 years, and I expect us to be here for decades to come. Over that time, we have faced many challenges and now, with our regional friends and other allies, we face today’s challenges. The experiences we have gained here may be of use to our Central Asian friends, and I wanted to convey that to them in person."

Cosgriff has also spoken at conferences regionally and internationally in recent weeks, including the International Institute of Strategic Studies in Geneva, Switzerland, and the East African South West Indian Ocean Conference in Mombassa, Kenya, focusing on the importance of underwriting a lawful Maritime Order that translates to regional prosperity and global economic stability.

“Even as we struggle daily against violent extremism, our Maritime Security Operations offer tangible benefit to all entities that use the seas – and need to be able use the seas- without risk of harassment or worse,” Cosgriff said. “Our power is in the capability and intent to safeguard peaceful use of waterways and the resources of the sea.”

Cosgriff commands three distinct but related organizations: U.S. Naval Forces Central – the Naval Component Commander overseeing all U.S. Navy forces in the region, totaling approximately 25,000 afloat and ashore; U.S. 5th Fleet – the mostly afloat arm of U.S. NAVCENT, comprising aircraft carriers, combatant and amphibious ships, submarines and a variety of other vessels such as patrol craft and mine warfare ships, as well as the full range of naval aircraft; Combined Maritime Forces – a twenty-nation coalition focused on MSO in the 2.5 million square miles and includes the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean.

The broad goals of the commands are the same – to conduct MSO for regional security and stability; to deny violent extremists freedom of movement and operation on the sea as well as to disrupt terrorist networks and defeat their actions; and to counter destabilizing and intimidating behavior to ensure no disruption to the free flow of commerce in the region.

“We continue to make a positive difference in this vital region of the world,” said Cosgriff. “Through our efforts in Maritime Security Operations, we remain a vigilant force for security, stability and prosperity in the region and beyond.”

CMF is comprised of three primary operational combined task forces (CTFs) and seven supporting CTFs. It includes about three dozen ships from Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Pakistan, Singapore, U.K. and U.S., as well as naval forces from several other nations.

“Our forces bring a rich diversity of experience, expertise and capability,” Cosgriff said. “When we look around the region today, maritime security is as significant an issue as it has ever been. Our goal is to uphold international rights and underwrite a lawful maritime environment.”

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