The outgoing Commander Combined Task Force 152 (CCTF 152), Colonel Nayef Alaskar of the Kuwait Naval Force, has handed over command to his successor, Colonel Abdelkader Almarahleh, of the Royal Jordanian Naval Force, at a formal Change of Command ceremony held in Bahrain.
CTF 152, as part of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), co-ordinates Maritime Security Operations in the Arabian Gulf. It also facilitates co-operation and interoperability between regional maritime forces.
Established in 2004, CTF 152’s area of responsibility is one of the most globally significant and geographically constrained regions. The Arabian Gulf contains over 1,000 oil and energy installations and other critical pieces of infrastructure, such as desalination plants and port facilities. The CTF152 staff is drawn mainly from Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) nations, supported by CMF personnel and assets.
On handing over command, Colonel Alaskar said: “In addition to the core tasks of providing Maritime Security and re-assurance to the region, CTF 152 has undertaken two exercises, two Focused Operations and nine Passenger Exchanges. We have trained 93 Battle Watch Captains and brought in observers from across the region to assist in the delivery of these key activities. All of which further improve security and stability while enhancing regional capabilities.”
The Change of Command ceremony was overseen by Vice Admiral Kevin Donegan, Commander Combined Maritime Forces. Vice Admiral Donegan said: “Colonel Alaskar, you’ve expanded on previous efforts and taken CTF 152 to a new level. And to all the people of CTF 152, who are so committed to its success, be proud of the hard work and dedication you’re known for in this vital region.”
After assuming command, Colonel Almarahleh spoke about the opportunity to lead CTF 152 and said: “I would like to thank Colonel Alaskar and his staff for what they have done. I shall build upon what has been achieved. I would also like to express enormous gratitude to both CMF and Jordan for putting their trust in me to lead CTF 152 with its range of challenges.”
Commanded from its headquarters in Bahrain, CMF operates three Combined Task Forces (CTFs) across the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Somali Basin, Northern Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, Indian Ocean and the Arabian Gulf, covering nearly 3.2 million square miles of ocean bordered by 21 countries.