After a successful six months at the helm, Captain Adel Maani, Royal Jordanian Navy, has handed over command of Combined Task Force 152 to Commander Omar Alodat, also of the Royal Jordanian Navy. The ceremony was attended by distinguished guests and presided over by Commander CMF, Vice Admiral James Malloy USN.

CTF152’s mission is to promote the free flow of legitimate commerce and build regional maritime counter-terrorism capability in the Arabian Gulf. Between Sep 19 and Feb 20, Capt Maani ensured the mission was successfully executed through maritime security, capacity building and engagement operations. Although Jordan is not a Gulf regional state, they joined CMF in 2008 and have been actively participating ever since. The Royal Jordanian Navy previously commanded CTF152 from Sep 2016 to Sep 2017.

At the change of command ceremony, outgoing Commander CTF 152 Capt Maani said “It has been one of the greatest honours of my career to work with some of the finest men and women serving in the world.  From the great leadership of the CMF Command Team under Vice Admiral Malloy and Commodore Bassett, to the men and women of my fellow task forces, and the wonderful staff at CTF 152, I have been blessed in this tour.”   

Presiding over the ceremony, Vice Admiral Malloy USN said “Captain Maani, you and your team should be extremely proud of your accomplishments. We are incredibly honoured to have had the opportunity to work with you, I am honoured to call you my friend and my brother, and I wish you great luck in the assignment ahead. I know that whatever challenges and opportunities you face in your next role, you will out-pace them with the same energy, vision, and professionalism you brought to CTF152 every day of your command.”

Throughout the last six months, CTF152’s maritime security operations have been supported by regional partners as well as the United States Navy and the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy. During this time ships from 16 countries supported CTF152, providing an impressive 1310 ‘ship days’ (combined number of days at sea) to deliver their mission. This was an increase from the previous six months and displays the increasingly international focus on the Gulf.

Developing interoperability and improving communications between regional partners have been a key theme during Capt Maani’s command of CTF152. CTF152 conducted a series of joint patrols between Royal Saudi Naval Force, Royal Bahrain Naval Force, United Arab Emirates Coast Guard, Qatar Emiri Naval Force and United States Navy assets across the North, Central and South Arabian Gulf. Maritime security operations and Exercise Falcon Response, which focused on Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), also improved interoperability and communications.

Capacity building through a range of activities has been another highlight of this command, with CTF152 conducting five Battle Watch Captain training courses for 37 people from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Jordan to contribute towards the shared maritime security mission. Focused Operation Mahmoud countered charcoal smuggling across the region.

CTF152 was also busy with key leader engagement visits to 15 regional commanders in Bahrain, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman as well as civilian organisations across the region such as the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO). Capt Maani conducted these visits to discuss the outstanding current support they offer to CTF152 and how they can work together in the future.

Vice Admiral Malloy said “As we say farewell to one great leader, we welcome another. It is my pleasure to welcome Commander Omar Alodat, also of the Royal Jordanian Navy. I know that you have proudly represented Jordan in many past international assignments, and we look forward to all the talent and experience you will bring to your role here in CMF. I am incredibly honoured to have you assume command.” After formally accepting command for the next six months, CDR Omar Alodat said “My plan for command will be heavily concentrated on maintaining effective communication between regional partners. I will spare no efforts in improving the level of collaboration between CTF 152 and partner nations.”