Today Vice Admiral Jim Malloy, Commander of CMF and US 5th Fleet, handed over the reins to Vice Admiral Sam Paparo in a semi-virtual ceremony. 

The outgoing Commander, VADM Malloy, hosted a number of guests at the CMF Headquarters in Bahrain including distinguished guests from Bahrain and the region. Meanwhile, due to Covid-19 restrictions, VADM Paparo and his family joined the ceremony via a video link.

First visiting Bahrain as a young Lieutenant in 1992, VADM Malloy has spent 15 of his 34 year Naval career in the country, and was serving here when the initial foundations of CMF were laid in 2001. And after taking up the position of Commander of CMF in December 2019, VADM Malloy returned to Bahrain, a home away from home, ready to continue with the CMF mission to deliver maritime security and stability in the region.

Vice Adm. Jim Malloy, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) delivers remarks during the hybrid change of command onboard Naval Support Activity Bahrain Aug. 19, 2020. 

“Over my four tours here I have made lifelong friends – Bahraini, Saudi, Qatari, Kuwaiti, French, British, and many, many more from countless other nations,” VADM said in his handover speech. 

“The deep and rich heritage of the Arab and Islamic world resonates across this capital as I wake each morning to the sound of the call to prayer, and remember how fortunate I have been to work in this region and live on this island.” 

Turning to VADM Samual Paparo, who assumed command today, he added: “Admiral Paparo, this is the second time I have bequeathed a precious and relevant team into your incredibly capable hands. You have an abundance of strength of heart and character to face the challenges ahead, the courage to lead this VIP team with integrity and honor – in company with the best regional and world partners, represented as we look around this room.”

VADM Paparo, an experienced and accomplished Naval Aviator, has served throughout the world in his 33 year career, including in Japan, Afghanistan and Qatar. He has held a number of operational tours at sea and joins as CMF Commander here in Bahrain straight from a two year assignment as Director of Operations for the US Central Command.

Read more about VADM Paparo here.

Photos from the ceremony

Watch the change of command ceremony