Maj. Gen. David Coffman, director, Expeditionary Warfare Division (N95), hosted an all-hands call aboard the Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship USS Devastator (MCM 6) during a trip to Naval Support Activity Bahrain, Aug. 5.
Coffman’s trip aimed to strengthen his relationship with U.S. 5th Fleet naval leadership and align critical investment resources that execute Department of Defense Secretary James Mattis’ National Defense Strategy.
Coffman spoke to Sailors aboard Devastator about their role in today’s Navy and the next generation of warfighting.
“Our naval expeditionary and amphibious forces are a unique and vital part of our Nation’s defense,” said Coffman. “In short, no one else on the planet can do what we do in the littoral battlespace, where the water meets the land and where all the domains come together. This is where the issue is decided, and where sea control and power projection are linked in the successful execution of the naval campaign.”
Coffman also focused on mine warfare, and emphasized his goal as a resource and requirements sponsor is to resource warfighters to do the nation’s work.
Devastator, one of four MCM ships forward deployed to Bahrain and attached to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command's Task Force (TF) 52, is a mine sweeper/hunter-killer capable of finding, classifying and destroying moored and bottom mines in U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.
TF 52 is the mine countermeasures force of U.S. 5th Fleet. It operates regularly to ensure freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in the Arabian Gulf, one of the world's most critical bodies of water for international maritime traffic.
U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The expanse comprises 20 countries and includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.
Cdr Alota is a San Diego native and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1998. He was a 4 year starter for the Navy Football team and was named Captain his senior year. Cdr Alota previously served as the Executive Officer and Commanding Officer of USS Comstock (LSD 45). Additionally, he earned a Master of Arts in Human Resource Management from Webster University and is a graduate of the Army Command General Staff College.