Leaders from 15 European nations met at Naval Support Activity Naples to discuss regional maritime security during the week-long 2019 Combined Force Maritime Component Commander (CFMCC) Flag Course, co-hosted by the Naval War College (NWC) and commander, U.S. 6th Fleet (C6F), Oct. 28-Nov. 1, 2019.
Through case studies, breakout sessions, and lectures from senior leaders and facilitators, participants were able to learn from each other and discuss solutions toward common goals in maritime security while creating and renewing partnerships.
“The maritime environment is dynamic and complex, requiring commanders to understand the strategic value of the full spectrum of military operations,” said Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti, C6F. “This course helps reinforce the importance of transition from tactical level command to operational level leadership. NATO and partner nation participation add experience and context to the course, and help us operate together at every level of command.”
Graduates of CFMCC gain the ability to effectively communicate and advance the understanding of maritime security issues between participating nations. Together, students address challenges between allied and partner nations in the framework of regional challenges and discuss solutions to these common concerns.
“I went to CFMCC in Hawaii back in 2014,” said Franchetti. “I found it to be a phenomenal course, as well as a great way to build my network. Many of my classmates have gone on to lead their navies, and we still stay in touch. I hope you [gained] valuable insights which will help you in the future.”
The value of courses such as this can be seen in exercises, operations, and senior leader engagements with allied and partner nations, as they improve effectiveness and joint interoperability during premier exercises such as BALTOPS, exercise Sea Breeze, exercise Trident Jupiter, and others.
Speakers at the event included Franchetti; Geoffrey Ross Pyatt, U.S. Ambassador to Greece; U.S. Air Force Gen. Tod. D. Wolters, commander, U.S. European Command; U.S. Navy Adm. James. G. Foggo III, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa; U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Andrew L. Lewis, commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet; retired U.S. Navy Vice Adm. John. “Fozzie” Miller; and others.
Participants in the 2019 CFMCC included flag and general officers from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, and U.S. Air Force and leaders from international allied and partner nations.
CFMCC is the international equivalent of the Navy’s executive level professional military education course. It develops and strengthens relationships based on trust and confidence among allied and partner nation leaders and helps to foster a unified vision for achieving collective security in a dynamic environment.
Established in 1884, NWC is the oldest institution of its kind in the world. More than 50,000 students have graduated since its first class of nine students in 1885, and about 300 of today's active duty admirals, generals and senior executive service leaders are alumni.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, oversees 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.