The Indian Navy's P-8I aircraft at Bahrain International Airport on May 28, 2023.

This marks a significant step in strengthening cooperation between the Combined Maritime Forces

Indian Navy's P-8I aircraft is in Bahrain to take part in the inaugural Operation Compass Rose being carried out by the Combined Maritime Force (CMF). The long-range maritime surveillance aircraft is based at the INS Hansa naval air station near Dabolim, Goa.

Following their arrival, the team had productive conversations with representatives from the participating countries. This provided a forum for insightful conversations about issues of shared interest. The P-8I Squadron's Commanding Officer, Commander Amit Mohapatra, also met Indian Ambassador to Bahrain Piyush Srivastava.

India decided to become an associate partner of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) at the 2+2 Ministerial discussions between India and the United States in April 2022. This action was aimed at improving cooperation on regional security in the western Indian Ocean.

After this, India formally began its cooperation with the CMF, an international partnership with its headquarters in Bahrain, in July 2022. The main goal of the CMF is to promote peace, stability, and prosperity over the enormous area of international waters, which measures around 3.2 million square miles. These waters encompass critical shipping lanes of global significance.

The CMF is a coalition of 34 nations and is commanded by a Vice Admiral of the US Navy who also serves as Commander of the US Naval Forces Centcom and US Fifth Fleet. All three commands are situated at the US Naval Support Activity in Bahrain.

The P-8I aircraft's successful landing at Bahrain International Airport and the ensuing high-level encounters represent crucial milestones in developing camaraderie and bolstering alliances in the maritime realm.