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NEWS | June 25, 2019

2019 Maritime Security Working Group Meets at Naval Support Activity Naples

By U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa Public Affairs

The 2019 Maritime Security Working Group (MSWG), led by the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa African Engagement Group, met at Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy, June 17-21.

The MSWG’s primary objective was to provide a forum for African, U.S. military, U.S. State department, Euro-Atlantic nations, and others to meet and develop objectives to address the development needs to help African navies improve their ability to provide maritime security.

"The Africa Partnership Station Maritime Security Working Group is venue that allows for the synchronization of maritime security initiatives developed by the U.S., Euro-Atlantic partners, and other important contributors toward this goal,” said Lt. Cmdr. Brendan Schaaf, CNE-A West African engagement lead. “By synchronizing our efforts with our partners, we can all more efficiently use our resources and better help African nations develop a self-sustaining ability to protect their blue-water economies from illicit maritime activity - a goal that is in the best interest of us all."

The MSWG consisted of 18 individual country-specific requirement review panels chaired by members from the Department of State Africa Bureau, U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa. These break-out sessions were designed to create and validate SMART Objectives that will help program USG security force assistance initiatives for the next five years. 

“I firmly believe this working group and the solutions you devise are important,” said Rear Adm. John E. Gumbleton, director of maritime headquarters, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet as he addressed the participants at the beginning of the working group. “The task of ensuring maritime security is certainly not easy. But together, collectively committed to regional security, we are up to that task.”

The MSWG uses an assessment-based framework to provide participants with a methodology to make informed decisions on security programs.

U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.