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NEWS | Nov. 25, 2023

Combined Force Maritime Component Commander Course: Building perspective in the operational space

By U.S. Sixth Fleet Public Affairs

Commanders throughout the region and NATO Allies and partner commands, participated in the 2023 Combined Force Maritime Component Commander (CFMCC) Course, held at Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Italy, to develop international relationships among partner nations, while deepening their understanding of Combined Maritime Command and Control concepts and mechanisms, Nov. 13-17, 2023.

The CFMCC course is flag-level professional military education focused on command and control of multinational maritime forces. The course is designed to prepare U.S. and partner nation officers for regional leadership and to give them a broad perspective of the operational level of war.

To gain a broader perspective of the region, the students in the CFMCC course will participate in seminars and faculty-moderated sessions meant to encourage discussion among students.

Rear Adm. Christopher Sweeney, acting deputy commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, explained the CFMCC Course reinforces the ability to build strategy and concepts that are aligned with accelerating our warfighting advantage and understanding how we work together.

 “Working with our closest regional Allies and partners during the CFMCC course enhances our interoperability and building trust among all forces across the theater,” said Sweeney. “When we share our own experiences, and work together to analyze and solve operational problems, we gain an unmatched knowledge base to use to our collective advantage in the tactical domain.”

Participants in the CFMCC course this year include top leadership from Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Türkiye, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

CFMCC students are encouraged to share experiences, national and maritime objectives, and participated in a variety of notable topics and panels, including maritime planning, strategic interests, and regional perspectives. The ability to effectively communicate and advance the understanding of security issues between participating nations is enhanced by addressing challenges between partner nations in the framework of regional challenges.

NAVEUR-NAVAF, U.S. European Command, and U.S. Africa Command, in coordination with U.S. 6th Fleet, oversee a variety of maritime exercises to include BALTOPS, Formidable Shield, Project Neptune, and routine operations with Allies and partners on a daily basis. Though the CFMCC course, increasing the knowledge and understanding of the Allies and partners leadership, creates an overall cohesion between nations and improves interoperability with everyone during combined exercises and operations in the region.

The U.S. Naval War College maintains the CFMCC Course curriculum that develops a network of leaders, focused on the operational level, in support of cooperation in the theater, and oriented toward maritime security.

Headquartered in Naples, Italy, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF, and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.