Rear Admiral Naveed Ahmed Rizvi of the Pakistan Navy, as Commander of Combined Task Force 150 (CCTF 150) and accompanied by members of his Staff, visited Riyadh & Jeddah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) from 20 – 23 November 2017 to conduct Key Leader Engagements (KLE). A regular KLE programme is a core element of Combined Maritime Force’s (CMF) Regional Engagement Plan, deepening mutual organisational understanding and ensuring critical stakeholder relationships remain strong and effective.

Rear Admiral Rizvi first called on Vice Admiral Fahad Al Ghofaily, Commander of the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF) at the RSNF Head Quarters in Riyadh. This followed a very successful meeting earlier in November between Vice Admiral Al Ghofaily and Deputy Commander CMF, Commodore Steve Dainton RN. CCTF 150 expressed his gratitude for the continued support provided by RSNF to CMF operations and for the contribution of KSA Naval Assets to CMF’s work. For his part, Vice Admiral Al Ghofaily restated his full understanding of CMF’s objectives. In particular, he acknowledged that a strong bond of mutual support is essential to the achievement of effective cooperation and to ensure the promotion of peace and stability in the region. Subsequently, CCTF 150 called upon Vice Admiral Awad Al Balawi, Director General of KSA Coast Guard, to discuss enhanced opportunities for both CMF and the KSA Coast Guard to work more closely together in shared training exercises.

Admiral Rizvi then traveled to Jeddah for the second stage of the KLE programme. Here, he met Rear Admiral Al Jaid, Commander Western Fleet, Rear Admiral Ali Dahish, Academy Commander Coast Guard and Capt Ahmed Almalki, Officer In Charge of the Maritime Coordination Centre. During meetings with these Naval Commanders at Jeddah, CCTF-150 discussed a range of options for extending joint operations between the RSNF and CMF in the Red Sea. He reiterated that the RSNF’s active participation in CMF is mutually beneficial and the RSNF can significantly contribute to CMF’s efforts of maintaining security and stability in the region.

Asked about his visit, Admiral Rizvi said: “Regular key leadership engagement visits are a vital activity for Commanders of each of the Combined Task Forces in CMF, allowing us to deepen relationships with military and civilian leaders with whom CMF works. These visits have enabled us to demonstrate to the KSA authorities how much CMF values their ongoing contribution and to discuss further cooperation and capacity building in the region.”