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Brazil is the only country in Latin America that is a member of the Combined Maritime Forces, a multinational naval association that seeks to promote security, stability and prosperity in some 8.3 million square kilometres in international waters.
The Naval Operations Command (NOC) of the Brazilian Navy (MB) will cooperate with the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), a multinational naval association headed by the United States and the United Kingdom based in Manama, capital of the Kingdom of Bahrain, whose objective is to fight against piracy and terrorism at sea to reduce illegal activities.
In July 2018, Brazil officially became the 33rd country and the only one in Latin America to join the CMF, which controls navigation in 8.3 million square kilometers of high risk international waters in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, which include the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.
“This means that Brazil became an effective member of a select group of countries that seek to improve maritime security and free trade in a region of the world that concentrates a large number of shipping lines. The new status allows increasing operational knowledge in the fight against maritime crimes such as piracy, terrorism, drug trafficking and arms trafficking. It is also a great opportunity to establish exchanges with other marinas if we consider the number of countries involved, “explained MB Frigate Captain Wendell Petrocelli de Lima, an officer of the Joint Operations and Planning Division of the NOC.
Previously, the reports received by the NOC on threats to aquatic spaces monitored by the coalition were prepared by CMF liaison officers working in the Middle East. From the moment Brazil became an effective member of the CMF, the MB Frigate Captain João Orlando Enes Prudencio was appointed as the senior national representative, who will be a member of the CMF Staff from July 2018 to July. 2019 in Manama. After that period, Cap. of Frag. Prudencio will be assigned to the NOC for a minimum period of two years to implement and transmit the knowledge acquired.
Brazilian maritime potential
The CMFs are under the command of the Vice-Admiral of the United States Navy, Scott A. Stearney, who is also the head of the Central Command and the Fifth Fleet of the United States. UU The second in command is British Royal Navy Commodore Steve Dainton, commander of the United Kingdom Maritime Component at the CMF.
“I am happy with the arrival of Brazil to our organization,” Commodore Dainton said in a statement from the CMF. “It demonstrates that maritime security problems such as piracy and terrorist activities are a global concern; We hope the Brazilian Navy will contribute to our international association. ”
The vessels of the CMF are organized into three large combined task forces (CTF in English). The CTF-150 on maritime and counter-terrorism security was created in February 2002 after the September 11 attacks; the anti-piracy CTF-151 was created in January 2009 to carry out combat operations against piracy, and the CTF-152 of maritime security operations in Persian Gulf waters is headed by officers from the United States and the Royal Navy of Arabia Saudi, who give priority to the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking.
The addition of Brazil to the coalition means that the MB will now have a group of naval forces with high potential, means and human resources for greater participation and cooperation with global maritime task forces. “Since November 2017, Brazil has an officer in the General Staff of CTF-151, which fights against piracy in the Horn of Africa. As of September 28, 2018, the Brazilian Navy has a second officer who, together with Cap. of Frag. Prudencio, is a member of the CTF-151 General Staff, under the command of Kuwait, “said Cap. of Frag. Petrocelli.
Now that the MB is integrated to the CMF and has important vessels, such as the new Atlântico helicopter carrier and the Bahia multipurpose vessel, it could participate in international patrols within the jurisdiction of the CMF. “Not at this time, but now that it is part of the CMF, it is a future possibility,” said Cap. of Frag. Petrocelli.
“The crews of the MB vessels are trained to perform in various combat situations and in operations against maritime crimes, such as those that combat the CMF,” said Capt. of Frag. Petrocelli. The officer recalled that, since 2011, the MB is in command of the Maritime Task Force of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, with a ship and an aircraft, and permanently on the Lebanese coast to prevent the entry of weapons illegal and contraband to that country. It also collaborates in the training of the Navy of Lebanon so that it has greater autonomy in its operations.
“Brazil seeks to update itself and get involved in matters related to maritime threats, but our work with the CMFs is limited to the fight against piracy, given the legal specifications of the Brazilian State,” said Capt. of Frag. Petrocelli. “Piracy in the horn of Africa is a problem that worries the entire international community because it directly affects international trade. Therefore, Brazil is also interested in fighting against this crime.
In addition, the experience in the fight against piracy in that region of the world can also be used against piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, an area of great interest for the country because it is located in the strategic area of Brazil, “concluded Cap. of Frag. Petrocelli.