Senior officers from 13 partner nations and the U.S. came together in Miami to strengthen partnerships through executive education provided by the U.S. Naval War College.
The Naval War College and U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command, U.S. 4th Fleet (USNAVSO/FOURTHFLT) co-hosted the 2019 Combined Force Maritime Component Commander (CFMCC) Flag Officer Course at the U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) Conference Center of the Americas in Miami Nov. 18-22.
The participants in this year’s course included leaders from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, Uruguay and the United States. U.S. senior officers represented the Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force and Coast Guard.
“We had the opportunity to learn together and build trust,” said Rear Adm. Don Gabrielson, the commander of USNAVSO and co-host of the course. “These friendships enhance our effectiveness in exercises and operations, making us more effective leaders.”
The course featured speakers and presentations from U.S. Navy Adm. Craig Faller, commander, USSOUTHCOM; U.S. Ambassador Jean Maines, civilian deputy commander, USSOUTHCOM; Adm. Karl Schultz, commandant, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Timothy Vernazza, deputy commander, U.S. 10th Fleet.
The course presentations and briefs from Naval War College faculty contributed to panel discussions and table top exercises with the goal of increasing interoperability in addressing future maritime security challenges in the region.
“This has been a fantastic opportunity to gather together like-minded maritime leaders to share ideas and explore solutions to our shared problems,” said Royal Navy Capt. Andrew Stacey. “Courses like this ensure that we are never more than one step away from being able to respond collectively to crises and issues that affect the seas that bind us.”
The CFMCC course 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.
“I am convinced, after facilitating these classes for more than a decade, that there is no other gathering in the world as rich in talent or as far-reaching in effect as these CFMCC courses,” said retired Vice Adm. Barry Costello, CFMCC facilitator and mentor. “Hearing the perspectives from other countries and other service leaders is priceless.”
Established in 1884, the U.S. Naval War College 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.
The 2019 CFMCC course is part of U.S. Southern Command’s Enduring Promise initiative and reflects the ongoing commitment to build enduring partnerships, enhance regional security and stability, enhance interoperability and solidarity with partner nations in the Caribbean, Central America and South America.