Command of Combined Task Force (CTF) 152 today passed from Kuwait to Bahrain at a ceremony at the Royal Bahrain Naval Base.

Kuwait Naval Force Brigadier General Jassim Al Ansari, left, shakes hands with Royal Bahrain Naval Force Colonel Isa Al Doseri, his successor as the commander of Combined Task Force (CTF) 52, during a change of command ceremony at Mina Salman Pier in Bahrain on Jan. 6. CTF 152 is one of three task forces that reports to Commander, Combined Maritime Forces Vice Adm. Mark Fox, center. Established in March 2004, CTF 152 coordinates theater security cooperation activities with regional partners and conducts maritime security operations, as well as being prepared to respond to any crisis inside the Arabian Gulf. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Eric Brown/Released)

Brigadier General Jassim al Ansari of the Kuwait Naval Force was succeeded as commander by Colonel Isa Al Doseri of the Royal Bahrain Naval Force.

CTF 152 operates in the Arabian Gulf conducting maritime security operations in conjunction with regional partners to prevent destabilising activities and promote maritime security for the benefit of all. Activities conducted by the task force include counter terrorism, maritime infrastructure protection and regional engagement of maritime partners.

Upon accepting command of CTF 152, Al Doseri said, “Bahrain is proud to have the opportunity to command CTF 152 for a second time. As an island nation, we understand the importance of the sea, whether it be for trade, defence or travel. The Arabian Gulf is one of the most important maritime regions in the world, and plays a key role in global trade and, by extension, the world economy. Maritime security in these waters is therefore important not justto Gulf nations but also the international community as a whole.”

Looking back on the last six months, al Ansari added, “This has been the first time Kuwait has commanded a CMF task force. In this time we have made a positive contribution to the security of the Arabian Gulf through the direction of daily maritime security operations. In the longer term, though our exercises and evolutions, we have also enhanced the ability of Gulf
nations and our international partners to work together in an effective manner. It is my belief that CTF 152 is now better placed to respond to whatever challenges or opportunities the future may bring.”

Kuwait assumed command of CTF 152 from the United Arab Emirates on May 9, 2010. For part of Kuwait’s command period, CTF 152 was also commanded by Colonel Abdullah Dashti. The rotation enabled two senior officers to gain valuable experience of leading a multi-national task force.

In addition to daily Maritime Security Operations throughout the Arabian Gulf, three large-scale evolutions were held during Kuwait’s command period, with the aim of enhancing command and control capabilities, improving combined planning processes and increasing cooperation among regional nations and international partners. These were: Stakenet, which focused on the protection of maritime infrastructure; Goalkeeper, which aimed to improve rapid information flow between different Naval Operational Centres; and Khaleje Response, which sought to coordinate host country, coalition and U.S. capabilities in response to natural or manmade crisis and events, including medical trauma at sea, collisions, and oil spills.

CTF 152 is a multi-national task force which has included participation from Kuwait, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, France, New Zealand, Italy, Australia, the United Kingdom and United States.

It is one of three task forces operated by Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), a 25-nation coalition based in Bahrain. CMF units are committed to working together in order to promote security and prosperity across 2.5 million square miles of international waters in the Middle East, which encompass some of the world’s most important shipping lanes. Its main focus areas are defeating terrorism, preventing piracy, enhancing regional cooperation, and
promoting a safe maritime environment.