MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- U.S. Naval Forces Central Command hosted the sixth Maritime Infrastructure Protection Symposium (MIPS), May 13-15, which brings together industry professionals, security personnel, and maritime corporations, with regional and coalition partners every 18 months.
MIPS is a three-day event, and had more than 130 attendees from countries throughout the region and from around the globe.
MIPS is designed to improve the defense and crisis response of partner, coalition, and infrastructure-related organizations. Presentations ranged from identifying and detecting infrastructure threats to the private sectors role in maritime security.
"When we look at these threats together: mines, pirates, terrorism, cooperation among states is both necessary and reasonably easy to achieve. Continued cooperation grows our collective interoperability," said Vice Adm. John Miller, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, commander, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Forces Maritime Component commander.
The symposium brought together experts and stakeholders and included presentations, discussions, and working groups. The participants had opportunities to meet and discuss various concerns in person while fostering relationships to better execute infrastructure protections efforts.
"I was very pleased to see so much face to face discussion and interaction during the breaks," Miller said. "We grow out capacity for defensive, partnered ops by understanding each other." "That starts with a conversation, person to person exchange of ideas," added Miller.
The MIPS presentations centered on operations in government and private sectors focusing on the protection of infrastructures in the Arabian Gulf, but that could be easily adopted by concerned parties in all regions of the world.
"It is clear that we brought the right industry partners here, and that we have the right relationships with industry going forward to ensure that we continue to think beyond the problem today," said Miller.
The symposium included recommendations on collaborative approaches to maritime infrastructure protection, such as bi-lateral and multi-national exercise scenarios involving attacks against port infrastructures, coastal refineries, narcotics trafficking, and smuggling of people and equipment for an attack against gas and oil terminals.
"The maritime domain is a very complex and challenging place to operate. Those who seek to challenge us in the maritime environment through aggression, malign activity, or criminality in the sea lanes present a threat not only to regional stability but the entire global economy," Miller said. "Threats must be confronted by a collective body of mariners operating to keep the global commons open for responsible traffic. That collective body of mariners does not just mean militaries, it includes industry, and governmental organizations."
NAVCENT is responsible for approximately 2.5 million square miles of area including the Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, parts of the Indian Ocean, and 20 countries. U.S. 5th Fleet's mission is to conduct maritime security operations, defeat violent extremism, and strengthen partner nations' maritime capabilities in order to promote security and stability in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.
Collaborating to conduct maritime security and protect valuable infrastructures is necessary for regional stability.
Maritime Security Operations (MSO) help set the conditions for security in the maritime environment. Security promotes stability which results in global economic prosperity. MSO complements the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations and seek to disrupt violent extremists' use of the maritime environment as a venue of attack or to transport personnel, weapons, or other material.
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/5th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusnc/.