MIAMI, Fla. –
Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet and the U.S. Naval War College co-hosted the 2022 Combined Force Maritime Component Commander (CFMCC) Flag Course at the U.S. Southern Command Conference Center of the Americas, March 21-25.
Twenty eight navy leaders from Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Uruguay along with flag and general officers from the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, and National Guard participated in the course. The course consisted of case studies, presentations from U.S. and partner nation senior leaders, and culminated in several tabletop exercises building on the principles learned throughout the week.
“The case studies allow the students to reflect on and share leadership decisions that they have made in the past and will be required to make as they lead multinational forces in the future,” said Deputy Dean of the College of Maritime Operational Warfare, Professor Sean Henseler. “This application of our course objectives adds true value to the course.”
Participants heard the perspectives of Commander, U.S. Southern Command, Gen. Laura Richardson, and U.S. Navy leaders to include Vice Adm. William Merz, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Operations, Plans and Strategy, and Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti, Director for Strategy, Plans and Policy, Joint Staff, and Rear Adm. Keith Davids, Special Operations Command South (SOCSOUTH) Commander, who presented his perspective as the Joint Task Force- Haiti, commander during the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Haiti in 2021.
Adm. Gabriel Perez, Commander of Colombian Navy, presented his lessons learned in Colombia’s Navy, and Rear Adm. Oscar Torrico, Fleet Commander of Peru’s Navy, discussed his recent experience as the task force commander during UNITAS LXII (62), the world’s longest-running multinational maritime exercise, in 2021.
“This course prepares for a full range of multinational and joint operations including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, anti-piracy as well as large exercises,” said Rear Adm. Jim Aiken, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet. “By learning together with our partners in the region, we build personal relationships which will pay off in increased interoperability in future operations and exercises,” he said.
Additional speakers included, Ambassador Jean Manes, U.S. Southern Command Civilian Deputy Commander, who provided the U.S. State Department perspective on working with partner nations, author Simon Sinek, talked about the infinite game in leadership, Carnival Cruise Line Chief Maritime Officer, retired Vice Adm. Robert Burke, provided a civilian perspective on maritime security, and former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett provided a unique perspective on operational leadership in strategic competition from his years as a head coach in the National Football League.
The CFMCC Flag Course is part of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet’s commitment to support U.S. Southern Command’s joint and combined military operations by employing maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations to maintain access, enhance interoperability, and build enduring partnerships to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American region.
Established in 1884, U.S. Naval War College is the oldest institution of its kind in the world. More than 50,000 students have graduated since the first class of nine students in 1885. Since creating a program for international officers in 1956, the college has more than 4,500 international alumni from 137 countries.