Combined Task Force (CTF) 152 which operates in the Gulf continues to build on its working relationships with key member nations again proves itself with another successful Exercise Falcon Warrior.

Royal Marine fast roping to the deck of USS McFaul

Naval and Coast Guard vessels from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States along with operational centres from the Gulf Cooperation Council worked together for the second time this year in this major exercise. The major focus of this exercise was to work together in the demanding Gulf environment, sharing knowledge and skills, then to put them into practice by running a series of Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) exercises.

Royal Saudi Coast Guardsman doing boarding serial on HMS Duncan
Expertise was on hand from the United States Coast Guard Advanced Interdiction Team and the Royal Marines currently embarked on Her Majesty’s Ship (HMS) Duncan. Each exercise in the series focuses on a specific maritime capability like search and rescue or VBSS.
Participation in Falcon Warrior was higher than previous exercises and included a variety of national assets including, Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF) HMS Khalid which is a Royal Saudi Coast Guard vessel, UAE Navy ship Banyas and Tarif, the guided missile destroyer US Ship McFaul, United Kingdom guided missile destroyer HMS Duncan with embarked helicopter, US Navy patrol craft, USS Monsoon and US Coast Guard Cutter Wrangell.

UAE Navy steaming for High value unit defence serial
CTF 152 headquarters is based in Bahrain alongside the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) which is a professional naval force comprised of 30 nations who focus on Maritime Security Operations and working together to deny the use of the seas for terror and other illicit activity. CTF-152 is at the heart of these operations operating throughout the Gulf region. The maritime security evolutions carried out during the week sought to rehearse best practices and standardize working procedures amongst the Navies and Coast Guards of the CMF.
As Captain Al-Enazi, Commander of CTF-152, stated, “I am continually impressed at the coalition’s capability to plan and execute complex and vitally important exercises, which practices a mission – Visit, Board, Search and Seizure, a mission that is crucial to the success of each of the regional Navies. I look forward to watching these exercises progress as we work together more and more”.

USCG advance interdiction team training on HMS Khalid
By exercising together on a regular basis, the CTF152 tactics and reporting procedures become familiar and clearly understood by all of the nation’s taking part. From the post exercise conference held at sea, Falcon Warrior was again considered successful, which yielded valuable lessons regarding multi-layered protection, secure communications procedures and exercising the optimal tactical employment between the differing classes of ships and aircraft.
The Mission of CTF 152 is to conduct persistent Maritime Security Operations, enhance regional capabilities, and integrate with regional partners in order to counter terrorism, disrupt illegal maritime practices and defeat destabilising activities to improve overall maritime security in the Arabian Gulf region.