Captain Riviere of the French Marine Nationale handed over Command of CTF 150 to Rear Admiral Alfaqeeh of the Saudi Royal Naval Force in a virtual ceremony. 

The CTF 150 (Combined Task Force 150) mission is to disrupt criminal and terrorist organisations and their mandated related illicit activities by restricting their freedom of manoeuvre in the maritime domain. The task force’s activities deny criminal and terrorist organisations a method of conducting operations or moving personnel, weapons or income-generating narcotics and charcoal.

Speaking via video link at the conference, Captain Riviere said, “I was very fortunate to be able to draw the CTF 150 team from not only France, but also the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates, building a combined, diverse and effective staff made up of professionals from three very capable nations.” 

French-led CTF 150

“To my team, I thank you for your committed support, your hard work, and determination in making these four months a success.”

This was the eleventh occasion that the French Marine Nationale has Commanded the task force to support CMF’s maritime security mission in the region, continuing to support 17 ships and operations at sea throughout the global COVID-19 pandemic. 

After four months of leading CTF 150, Captain Riviere passed the baton onto Rear Admiral Alfaqeeh of the Saudi Royal Naval Force, who has an accomplished military record  spanning almost thirty years. He has commanded ships and squadrons, and has served tours in the West Fleet, as well as experience commanding in a coalition. 

Rear Admiral Alfaqeeh said: “It is such a great opportunity to work and represent my country with such a professional and enthusiastic team. Our team members come from Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United States.  

“We will all do our best to execute and accomplish the Task Force’s mission in collaboration with a coalition of ships from multiple countries.”

During the virtual ceremony, Vice Admiral Malloy, Commander of Combined Maritime Forces, congratulated Captain Riviere and his team: “Captain Riviere, you and everyone under your leadership should be proud of your lasting contribution to global security. 

“As the eleventh French Officer to lead this CTF, you represented your country with operational excellence, dedication and integrity, and we are grateful for your leadership and your wisdom.”

He went on to welcome the Saudi-led task force: “Admiral, under your leadership, I have no doubt that CTF 150 will maintain a high level of vigilance and excellence required to set the watch, assuring the merchant community of our unblinking commitment while deterring illicit activity in our area of operations.”

France is handing over its eleventh Command of CTF 150. This will be the Saudi Royal Naval Force’s second Command of the Task Force. 

Watch the full Change of Command virtual ceremony here: