News: IMCMEX: Infrastructure protection symposium concludes
MANAMA, Bahrain - The 6th Maritime Infrastructure Protection Symposium, a three-day symposium held from May 13–15, hosted by U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, concluded today after a senior leader panel that included representatives from industry and international militaries.
MIPS saw more than 130 attendees from countries throughout the region and globe, gather to discuss security, technology and environmental concerns.
Presentations included "Liquid Natural Gas Shipping and Safety Concerns," "Trends in Unmanned Underwater Vehicle Developments," "Cyber Threats to Maritime Infrastructure," "Law of Naval Mining," "Marine Mammal Systems," and "Oil Spill Response: Security Considerations and Overview of International Response Systems" to name a few.
"When we look at these threats together: mines, pirates, terrorism, cooperation among states are all 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 Maritime Forces.
Besides the myriad of briefings and the senior leader panel, participants had the opportunity to share ideas in working groups and lessons learned panels as part of interpersonal and international engagements designed to raise collective knowledge of MIP. These interactions also foster 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 our capacity for defensive, partnered operations by understanding each other," he said. “That starts with a conversation, person to person exchange of ideas."
While briefings and discussions focused mainly on regional threats and issues, the topics, techniques and practices in these discussions could be adapted to global environments, which participants from all 41 countries could benefit from.
The MIPS symposium is held every 18 months and typically enjoys a multitude of international participants.
"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," he said.
U.S. Naval Forces Central Command is responsible for approximately 2.5 million square miles of area including the Persian 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.