In recognition of its exceptional operational efficiency, the Colombian Navy has been invited to join the Combined Maritime Force (CMF), a prestigious international coalition. This invitation allows Colombia to actively participate in operations spanning the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Arabian Gulf, and the Gulf of Aden.
Colombia’s Navy earned its place in the CMF due to high operational standards, rigorous training of its personnel, seamless interoperability, and its commitment to being at the forefront of maritime capabilities. The United States Navy, leading this globally influential force, extended the invitation to Colombia, making it the 42nd nation to join this select group.
The CMF, comprising 41 nations, primarily focuses on ensuring the security of maritime communication lines across the world’s oceans and seas. With a central emphasis on the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Arabian Gulf, and the Gulf of Aden, the force actively combats transnational crimes, including piracy, smuggling, and arms trafficking. Its mission is to facilitate the free flow of maritime commerce and safeguard communication lines in this vital global corridor.
While the CMF concentrates most of its operations in these regions, Colombia’s inclusion presents an opportunity for the Colombian Navy to take a lead in security efforts in the maritime areas of the Americas.
Colombia’s past contributions and future leadership
Colombia’s involvement with international maritime security is not new. In 2015, the Colombian Navy, with the participation of the Ocean Patrol Vessel ARC “07 de Agosto,” took part in the “Atalanta” and “Ocean Shield” operations in the Horn of Africa. These operations aimed to protect merchant vessels of the United Nations World Food Programme and support security operations for legal maritime traffic in the region. Colombia’s contribution played a crucial role in preserving order at sea against transnational threats like piracy and migrant trafficking.
Joining the CMF marks a significant stride for the Colombian Navy in its shared commitment to safeguarding the world’s oceans and seas. It enhances Colombia’s interoperability with the navies of other member countries, facilitates the exchange of best practices, and expands multilateral cooperation in maritime security.