Egypt joins multinational Combined Maritime Forces coalition

Coalition operates across seven million square kilometres of open water including the Suez Canal and the Strait of Hormuz

Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) Commander VAdm Samuel Paparo, U.S. Navy, with Lt Gen Ahmed Khaled and their respective staff officers, April 12, 2021. Egypt has been announced as the 34th member nation of CMF. Courtesy Egypt Navy

Egypt became the 34th member of the Combined Maritime Forces, which worksto combat illicit non-state elements at sea and maintain the region's maritime security.

“Egypt is an important partner in ensuring stability in the region, and we are honoured to welcome Egypt’s partnership in our mission focused on making the region and world a safer place,” CMF commander Vice Admiral Samuel Paparo, head of the US Navy's Fifth Fleet, said during a visit to Egypt this week.

Egyptian Navy commander Lt Gen Ahmed Khaled praised the co-operation between the two navies during Vice Adm Paparo's visit to the Ras Al Tin naval base in Alexandria, including the exchange of expertise in maritime security operations, cybersecurity and joint training.

Launched in 2002, the CMF operates across more than seven million square kilometres of international waters including the Suez Canal and the Strait of Hormuz.

“Egypt brings a wealth of operational experience in the region and maritime capabilities to CMF, and now provides coalition partners on both sides of the Red Sea, a waterway of significant strategic importance accounting for 10 per cent of the world’s trade,” Vice Adm Paparo said.

“Egypt’s membership will improve mutual awareness and ability to operate in the central and northern Red Sea.”

Egypt has been ramping up its military activities in recent weeks as it continues to seek an agreement with Ethiopia and other strategic nations over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

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