Today, after six months at the helm of Combined Task Force 152, Commander Omar Alodat of the Royal Jordanian Naval Force handed over command of the Task Force to Captain Al Qahtani of the Saudi Border Guard. 

The Change of Command ceremony was attended by representatives from a number of CMF’s 33 member nations, including the Commanders of the Bahrain Navy and Coast Guard. Spectators also watched the ceremony from afar using video link, including MG Mohammed Alshwehri, Director General of the Saudi Border Guard, Brigadier General Ibrahim, Director of Strategy & Plans of Jordan Armed Forces and Colonel Hisham, Head of Royal Jordanian Naval Forces.

The ceremony was also the first CMF occasion attended by the new Commander of CMF, Vice Admiral Paparo, who took command two weeks ago. 

“Here in Commander Alodat you won’t find a finer example of leadership, of command at sea,” said VADM Paparo.  

“He took the helm with tremendous enthusiasm, and that enthusiasm and that skill was needed at the time when he faced the twin menace of our operations at sea in conjunction with the threat of Covid-19. His character, his leadership, his intellect, rose to every occasion when CTF 152 adapted seamlessly to the new conditions and circumstances.”

CTF 152 has been commanded by Jordan for the last twelve months, with CDR Alodat relieving a fellow Royal Jordanian Naval Officer in February this year. This marks the third time that Jordan has led the Task Force since becoming a CMF member in 2008. 

Reflecting on his tenure as CTF 152 Commander, CDR Alodat said: “It has been a great honor and indeed a privilege to command CTF 152, and I will leave the headquarters here with some great memories and some ideas to take forward into the Royal Jordanian Naval Force.” 

Under CDR Alodat’s command, and in spite of Covid-19 restrictions, CTF 152 operated seven joint patrols, four Focused Operations and a Training Exercise – all while maintaining daily patrol activity using a total of 15 different maritime forces during the period. In the headquarters CTF 152 continued to succeed, delivering training to over 50 students from six countries, further enabling CTF 152 and its partners to communicate securely across the region.

“And as you return home to your families and your next assignment, you can be proud that you played a key role securing these vital waterways, the world’s economic engines, the crossroads of the world,” VADM Paparo added.

“Thank you for your skill, your dedication and your perseverance.”

On assuming command of the Task Force, Captain Al Qahtani of the Saudi Border Guard said: “It’s a great honor for me to stand here today to assume command of Combined Task Force 152.

I can assure you that my team and I will continue the success of my predecessor to promote the free flow of legitimate commerce and provide maritime security and stability in the Arabian Gulf, and I would like to thank all our friends and partners here at the Combined Maritime Forces; we are very much looking forward to working with you all.”