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NAVCENT Holds Maritime Infrastructure Protection Symposium

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS111002-03

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Russell Smith, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/5th Fleet Public Affairs

MANAMA, BAHRAIN (NNS) -- U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) hosted the three-day Maritime Infrastructure Protection Symposium (MIPS), held every 18 months, Sept. 20-22.

The purpose of the symposium is to improve the collective understanding of regional and international maritime infrastructure protection to protect critical resources against all kinetic, natural and enduring vulnerabilities.

This is the fourth MIPS, and had more than 150 attendees from 20 countries.

As academic advisor and panel facilitator, Naval War College assistant research professor, Doug Ducharme, lead a panel discussion made up of regional leaders, military commanders, and senior industry representatives who answered questions on the last day of the event. The panel addressed some of the biggest challenges in taking a multi-agency approach to MIPS with the participants.

The event brought together experts and stakeholders and included presentations, discussions and working groups. The participants had opportunities to meet and discuss various concerns in person while fostering relationships to better execute infrastructure protection efforts.

"This is basic human relations," said Vice Adm. Mark Fox, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command. "At the end of the day, you can surge troops and you can surge equipment, but you can't surge trust."

NAVCENT is responsible for approximately 2.5 million square miles of area including the Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, parts of the Indian Ocean and 20 countries. U.S. 5th Fleet's mission is to conduct maritime security operations, defeat violent extremism and strengthen partner nations' maritime capabilities in order to promote security and stability in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.

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