Colonel Nayef Alaskar, commander, Task Force 152, stands on the bridge of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS The Sullivans

Colonel Nayef Alaskar of the Kuwait Naval Force has ended his successful tenure in charge of Combined Task Force (CTF) 152.

Colonel Alaskar arrived in Bahrain in late February 2016 as the Commander of CTF 152 and has been active both at sea and in Key Leadership Engagement efforts ashore.

Under Colonel Alaskar’s leadership ensured that CTF 152 not only continued to deliver effectively its core task of Maritime Security Operations but also increased its participation in exercises and specific operations.  In addition Colonel Alaskar has had exceptional success in attracting Gulf Co-operation Council partners to support these activities.

CTF 152 has engendered the steady increase in information sharing and interoperability between the multiple nations working in the region.   The recent relocation of the CTF 152 headquarters ensures they are located close to Naval Forces Central Command’s  (NAVCENT) Task Force (TF) 55, the US 5th Fleet TF responsible for surface warfare. This will greatly increase the degree of collaboration between these two organisations.

During the International Mine Countermeasures Exercise (IMCMEX) 16, Colonel Alaskar held the first ever Kuwaiti command at sea of an international task force.  IMCMEX was an international exercise with the aim of testing all aspects of defensive maritime warfare including mine countermeasures, maritime security operations and maritime infrastructure protection.  The exercise demonstrated the global resolve to maintain freedom of navigation and the free flow of maritime trade throughout the Middle East region.

Colonel Alaskar spoke at the Maritime Infrastructure Protection Symposium (MIPS) on ‘Threats to Maritime Infrastructure in the Arabian Gulf’ and discussed some of the tactics that CTF 152 employs to counter those threats.   As a result Vice Admiral Donegan, Commander of the US 5th Fleet, presented Colonel Alaskar with an award recognising his contributions to the 7th MIPS.

Colonel Alaskar said: “Leading CTF 152 has been an honour and a privilege.  I am so proud of what we have achieved both as a Combined Task Force and as a team with other navies and coast guards in the region.  The challenges facing CTF 152 are unique but through hard work we have made CTF 152 an effective operator in Maritime Security Operations in the Arabian Gulf.”

Colonel Alaskar worked closely with Deputy Commander Combined Maritime Forces (DCCMF) Commodore William Warrender of the Royal Navy.  Cdre Warrender said: “Colonel Alaskar has driven CTF 152 forward and continued the excellent work done by the previous Kuwaiti Commander of the Task Force.  His engagement with GCC countries has been exemplary. Finally, as CCTF 152 he has been a good friend to me on a personal level, and we have enjoyed a close working relationship. I know he will succeed in his next job as he has done here.”

Vice Admiral Donegan gives award to Colonel Alaskar
Kuwaiti-led CTF 152 who have now been replaced by Royal Jordanian Naval Force