On June 25th and 26th, 100 military leaders from ten partner countries and several U.S. military branches met in Bahrain for the second iteration of the Task Force 51/5-led Multilateral Maritime Engagement. The Multilateral Maritime Engagement enhances multilateral partnerships and maritime military cooperation throughout the region while supporting the U.S. Central Command security constructs.
“The MME is about bringing partners together and enhancing the strong bonds already in place,” Brig. Gen. Matthew S. Reid, Commanding General of Task Force 51/5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade
“One of the best ways to remain ready to respond to a contingency is to listen to and work with our partners,” said Reid. “Understanding their security challenges and learning how we can best integrate with them during a crisis or contingency response – especially one that occurs in an amphibious domain – is important,” he said. “All of this supports our efforts to ensure this region’s stability and security.”
Over two days, conference participants had a series of briefs and breakout sessions on air, ground, and maritime operations, continuing discussions last held in January. Participants also toured the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Ship Cardigan Bay (L3009), a landing-ship dock belonging to the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy. Participating countries included Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, France, and the United Kingdom; participating U.S. armed forces elements included leaders from within the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and U.S. Army Central Command’s Task Force Spartan.
This is the second time Task Force 51/5 has led the MME in Bahrain. Future iterations of MME are planned, although dates have not yet been solidified.
Task Force 51/5 is a Bahrain-based Joint Task Force-Capable Headquarters that responds to crises and contingencies; coordinates, plans, and executes operations; conducts Theater Security Cooperation; and advances emerging Naval concepts at sea, from the sea, and ashore in support of U.S. Fifth Fleet and Marine Forces Central Command theater objectives. Led by a Marine Corps Brigadier General, the command comprises a staff of Marine Corps and Navy professionals. Task Force 51/5 regularly conducts Theater Security Cooperation exercises with partner nations in coordination with U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command, on behalf of CENTCOM, in pursuit of National Defense Strategy objectives.