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Regional Leaders Gather in Hawaii for Annual CFMCC Course

12 February 2014

From Story and photo by MC1 David Kolmel

The Naval War College's 8th annual Combined Force Maritime Component Commander (CFMCC) Flag Officer Course was conducted at U.S. Pacific Fleet headquarters Feb. 6-12.

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii - The Naval War College's 8th annual Combined Force Maritime Component Commander (CFMCC) Flag Officer Course was conducted at U.S. Pacific Fleet headquarters Feb. 6-12.

Flag officers, senior military officials and a civilian from 13 nations attended CFMCC this year. The representatives from Bangladesh, Brunei, Canada, Chile, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and the United States met to discuss command and control, multinational operations, information sharing, piracy, transnational threats, humanitarian assistance and maritime security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific.

"I think that this course gives me a chance to open my mind and a new vision of multilateral operations, so this is very important," said First Adm. Amarulla Octavian, commander of the Indonesian Navy's Sea Battle Group, Western Fleet. "I will transmit this to naval staff and command college, and to give the clear interpretation for a young navy generation and give a short brief to my headquarters on multilateral operations."

CFMCC gives flag-level officers a non-attributional open forum for discussing ways of addressing regional issues and fostering relationships.

"The basis of their future and current performance is based on relationships," said retired Rear Adm. James Kelly, a course facilitator. "These are lifelong relationships with peers from countries throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific."

The 25 attendees received a series of lectures and took part in panel discussions based on experiences from senior military officials and subject-matter experts.

"We have talked throughout the week about a whole variety of security issues facing the students and we get an opportunity to exchange ideas," said retired Vice Adm. Barry Costello, also a course facilitator.

Kelly says the course provides more than just security thinking though.

"Other points that we like to hit are combined operations considerations and we talk a little bit about just being flag officers and general officers, what are things they should be thinking about, personally and professionally," Kelly said.

The U.S. speakers at the conference were the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, 3rd Fleet, 7th Fleet, 14th Coast Guard District along with representatives from U.S. Pacific Command and various offices within U.S. Pacific Fleet.

The first CFMCC course was held in 2006 in Newport, R.I., and was focused on U.S. Naval Forces Central Command. Since the introduction of CFMCC it has grown and is typicaly hosted four times a year in Europe, the Middle East, North America and the Pacific. U.S. Pacific Fleet has hosted the course since 2007.

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