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American Forces Press Service

U.S. Admiral Addresses Pakistan Navy War College

American Forces Press Service

LAHORE, Pakistan, June 9, 2008 – At the invitation of Pakistan’s navy, the officer who commands U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces spoke to officers at the Pakistan Navy War College today.

Vice Adm. Kevin J. Cosgriff discussed how the new U.S. maritime strategy -- “A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower” -- helps shape maritime policy in the Indian Ocean, as well as how coalition and 5th Fleet forces help build maritime security in the region, promoting global and regional stability and economic prosperity.

Cosgriff’s visit to Pakistan highlights the importance of military and diplomatic relations between the two nations.

“Fostering relationships with coalition partners such as Pakistan is important,” he said. “Coalition maritime forces interact with virtually every country in the region, and to my thinking, the combination of persistent, credible naval power and the conduct of security operations is precisely the sort of thing we ought to be doing.”

The Pakistan Navy War College conducts staff courses for mid-level Pakistani and coalition officers. The war college invites high-ranking military officers and other government leaders to address the students on national and international issues.

Pakistani and U.S. naval forces completed Exercise Inspired Union 2008 in the North Arabian Sea, May 11-21. The exercise focused on air, surface and anti-submarine training.

USS Curts also made two port visits to Karachi, Pakistan, during the exercise, the first visit by a U.S. ship since September 2006. The visit symbolized the continued friendship between the United States and Pakistan and exemplified the U.S. commitment to reinforcing this partnership, officials said.

Cosgriff said that the more coalition and partner nations collaborate to provide security for the region, the more they collectively can achieve.

“The continued presence of coalition forces guarantees maritime security of those who depend on free use of the seas,” Cosgriff said. “From security arises stability, which enhances trade, promotes economic vitality, and increases regional and global prosperity.”

Pakistan is an integral member of the coalition and has commanded Combined Task Force 150 twice. Pakistan navy Commodore Khan Hashan Bin Saddique, the current commandant of the Pakistan Navy War College, commanded CTF 150 from November 2007 to February 2008.

CTF 150 is composed of warships from numerous coalition nations including France, Germany, Pakistan, Japan, Canada, United Kingdom and the United States, and is responsible for maritime security operations in the Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Red Sea, and the Indian Ocean.

Maritime security operations help develop security in the maritime environment, which promotes stability and global prosperity, officials said. These operations complement the counterterrorism and security efforts of regional nations and seek to disrupt violent extremists’ use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.

(From a U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/5th Fleet news release.)

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