Vice Admiral Brad Cooper
Vice Adm. Brad Cooper is the son of a career Army Officer. He is a 1989 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, and earned a master’s degree in Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University. He has also studied national security policy and international relations at Harvard and Tufts Universities.
A career Surface Warfare Officer, he served on guided missile cruisers, guided missile destroyers, aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships. His ship commands include USS Russell (DDG 59) and USS Gettysburg (CG 64). Cooper is particularly proud of the extraordinary men and women with whom he served on sea duty during 9 deployments and 13 real-world operations all around the world. His amazing Sailors in USS Gettysburg earned the Battenberg Cup as the best ship, submarine or aircraft carrier in the Navy’s Atlantic Fleet.
Ashore, he served in a variety of executive, military assistant and special assistant roles in the White House, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Pacific Fleet headquarters. He also served as principal U.S. Advisor to the Interior Minister of Afghanistan and Director, Surface Warfare Officer assignments (Pers-41).
As a flag officer, he mostly recently served as commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic. Previous tours include service as Chief of Legislative Affairs, where he lead the Navy’s engagement efforts with the U.S. Congress; commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea during the height of tensions on the Korean Peninsula in 2016-2017; and, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 7 in Okinawa, Japan, where he lead 7th Fleet’s Navy-Marine Corps team on the U.S. military’s first F-35 deployment.
Cooper has been recognized with various personal and unit-level awards including the Distinguished Service Medal and Bronze Star Medal. He is a recipient of the Admiral Elmo Zumwalt Award for Visionary Leadership.
Commodore Ed Ahlgren OBE
United Kingdom Maritime Component Commander and Deputy Commander Combined Maritime Forces
Commodore Edward Ahlgren was born in Manchester in 1971 and educated at Rossall School, Fleetwood before entering Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth as a Midshipman in 1990. Following initial submarine training, he joined HMS UNICORN, the Royal Navy’s last diesel-electric submarine, for two years swiftly followed by Navigator’s course and appointment to HMS RENOWN and thereafter, HMS REPULSE as the Communications Officer. He participated in three deterrent patrols, which included the final Polaris deterrent patrol, and the subsequent decommissioning of the last Resolution class submarine.
Submarine Advanced Warfare Course soon followed in 1997 whereupon he served in HMS TURBULENT and HMS TRIUMPH as the Operations Officer. During this time, he was also proud to command HMS EXPLORER, a P2000 Patrol Boat and the Yorkshire Universities Royal Naval Unit based in Hull in 2000.
In 2002, Commodore Ahlgren successfully completed the Submarine Command Course (Perisher) that resulted in his appointment as Executive Officer of HMS TRENCHANT for three years prior to his service on the staff of Flag Officer Sea Training as the Staff Warfare Officer (Operations/Navigation). Promoted Commander in May 2007, he commanded HMS TIRELESS for 2 years that included a diverse and busy six-month operational tour in the role of Staff Operations Officer to the Maritime Component in Bahrain. On return to the UK, he assumed command of HMS TORBAY in June 2009 deploying East of Suez and spending over 250 days at sea in his final year of command. This period also marked his service in 6 of the 7 Trafalgar class submarines he had the privilege to deploy on.
Thereafter, he was assigned to the Ministry of Defence in Nuclear Capabilities followed by an appointment to the Maritime Battlestaff as Operations Officer in 2013, which included a very successful CTF 150 Counter Terrorist deployment to Bahrain in 2014. Promoted Captain in 2015, he served as the Defence Attaché in Cairo, Egypt followed by a return to the SM Service in the role of Captain Faslane Flotilla, which completed in May 2019. Selected for command of a combined UK-French CTF 150 staff, he deployed to Bahrain for the third time in August 2019 to lead the CMF counter terrorist Combined Task Force 150 who were successful in seizing narcotics to the value of £2.5m in their four-month tenure. Promoted to Commodore in January 2020, he joined the Maritime Operations Centre in Northwood in his current role of Deputy Commander Operations.
Commodore Ahlgren is an alumnus of the Advanced Command and Staff Course (MA in Defence Studies, King’s College London), the UK/US Rising Leaders’ programme and is also a graduate of the Higher Command and Staff Course.
Captain Mubarak Ali Yousuf Al Sabah
He started his military career with Kuwait Navy in 2001 by joining Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth. A few years after graduation he joined Kuwait Coast Guard in 2004. Upon his extraordinary performance and professionalism he assumed several command posts. He commanded several ships (Sabahi Class). Then he went to an operational post and was appointed Chief of Maritime Operations and in 2009. In 2015 he was appointed Flotilla Commander responsible for more than one hundred surface assets commissioned to execute Maritime Security Operations in Kuwait’s TTW and EEZ.
He is a member of the Royal College of Defense Studies and holds a Master of Arts (MA), in International Security & Strategy from King’s College London. He is a 2011 graduate of Mubarak Al Abdullah Joint Command and Staff College, a 2014 graduate of Australian College of Kuwait with an electronic engineering degree and holds an Honorary Doctorate in Maritime Science from The University of Plymouth.
Captain Al Sabah is a combat-tested leader who has earned frontline experience through Operation Iraqi Freedom and numerous joint maritime exercises throughout the Middle East, United Kingdom and United States of America. His leadership during these exercises has earned him the trust and respect of naval and military leaders from across the international community.
His command, staff appointments, education and experience have broadened his strategic perspective. His strategic perspective have led him to organizing international conferences, media events and high-level strategic engagements to enhance regional, national and international security. Most notable, is his keen ability to anticipate emerging opportunities and security threats in the Middle East region at levels normally expected of diplomats, naval or military leaders senior to him in rank.
In February 2019, Captain Mubarak Ali Al Sabah assumed duties as Commander of Combined Task Force 152 responsible for coordinating and enhancing regional maritime security and cooperation in the Arabian Gulf. He led the largest sustained Joint Patrol in in CTF 152 recent history with over 60 Naval and Coast Guard vessels from contributing nations of Combined Maritime Forces.
In September 2019, Captain Mubarak Ali Al Sabah assumed duties as “Assistant to Commander CMF for Regional Integration”. He is currently a senior official of Kuwait’s Ministry of Interior, promoting Public Diplomacy, Foreign Policy and International Relations.
Commander Morgan Roberts
Chief of Staff Combined Maritime Forces (COS CMF)
Commander Morgan Roberts is a native of Norfolk, Virginia and is a 2000 graduate of The Citadel (The Military College of South Carolina). He holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from the University of Oklahoma.
His sea tours consisted of serving as the Auxiliary Officer and Electrical Officer aboard USS JOHN S MCCAIN (DDG 56), the Navigator and Assistant Operations Officer aboard USS SPRUANCE (DD 963), and the Chief Engineer aboard USS COLE (DDG 67). He then served as the Executive Officer and Commanding Officer of MCM Crew Leader, embarking five different Avenger Class hulls with three deployments to Bahrain. He was Executive Officer then Commanding Officer of USS JASON DUNHAM (DDG 109) completing a record setting sustainment phase and being the first DDG to undock early during the ship’s first overhaul.
CDR Roberts’ shore duty consisted of him serving as the Exercise Planner and Executive Officer for EUCOM’s Interagency Partnering Directorate, and as flag aide to Commander Naval Network and Space Operations Command (NNSOC).
CDR Roberts reported to Combined Maritime Forces in July of 2020 and is currently serving as Chief of Staff.
His awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), the Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards), and three Battle “E” awards, among a variety of unit and campaign awards.
Sergeant Major Cortez L. Brown
Senior Enlisted Leader Combined Maritime Forces (SELCMF)
Sergeant Major Cortez L. Brown was born in East Saint Louis, Illinois, and he enlisted into the Marine Corps on 19 August 1988 from Denver, Colorado. In September 1988, upon graduation from Lincoln Sr. High School, he reported to Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) San Diego, California, for recruit training.
He graduated from MCRD San Diego in December 1988 and reported to the School of Infantry (SOI) at Marine Corps Base (MCB) Camp Pendleton, California. After completion of the SOI, Pvt Brown was assigned to Marine Barracks Guam, Marine Security Guard Force Marinna Inlands and became a Marine Security Guard. In September 1990, LCpl Brown reported for duty with Company C, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines (1/9), MCB Camp Pendleton, California, as an infantry riflemen.
While with 1/9, LCpl Brown deployed with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and participated in Operation FIERY VIGIL as well as Operations DESERT STORM and SHIELD. In September 1992, as a newly promoted corporal, he was involuntary separated from the Marine Corps as a result of Marine Corps Forces Reduction.
In February 1996, Sgt Brown was afforded the opportunity to come back on active duty as a lance corporal. After reporting to Meridian, Mississippi, he obtained the new military occupation specialty of Maintenance Administration Specialist. After graduating from Maintenance Administration School, he reported to Heavy Marine Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 465, Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Tustin, California, for duty. He served as a Maintenance Administration Clerk. In November 1996, he was promoted to the rank of corporal. From March 1997 to August 1999, Cpl Brown was part of two six-month unit deployment programs with HMH-465 to MCAS Futenma, Okinawa, Japan.
In November 1998, while on deployment in Okinawa, Japan, he was promoted to the rank of sergeant and became noncommissioned officer-in-charge (NCOIC) of the Squadron Data Analyst for HMH-465. In 1999, Sgt Brown was assigned the billet of Central Technical Publications Librarian. In September 2000, he was promoted to the rank of staff sergeant. In April 2001, SSgt Brown volunteered for drill instructor duty and attended Drill Instructor School at MCRD San Diego, California. After graduating Drill Instructor School, SSgt Brown was assigned to Company K, 3rd Battalion, where he completed 10 cycles and held the billets of Senior Drill Instructor and Series Chief Drill Instructor.
In September 2004, after successful completion of his tour as a drill instructor, SSgt Brown received orders to Marine Aircraft Logistic Squadron-16 at MCAS Miramar, California. Upon arrival, he was re-assigned to HMH-465, MCAS Miramar, California, to assume the duty of Maintenance Administration Chief. During his time with HMH-465, he deployed twice to Iraq. In September 2005, while on his second deployment in Iraq, Operation IRAQ FREEDOM 05-08, he was promoted to the rank of gunnery sergeant. In January 2008, GySgt Brown was hand selected to become the Marine Aircraft Group-16 Personnel Support Detachment acting first sergeant. After assuming this position, he deployed for the third time to Al Asad, Iraq.
In March 2009, after returning from Al Asad, he was promoted to the rank of first sergeant with an assignment to 23rd Marine Regiment in San Bruno, California. He was assigned as the site first sergeant, where he performed Inspector and Instructor (1&1) duties for both Headquarters Company and Company E, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marines. During this period, lstSgt Brown received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration/Management from Columbia Southern University in 2011. lstSgt Brown remained at this command until August 2012. In September 2012, lstSgt Brown received orders to 5th Battalion, 11th Marines (5/11), 1st Marine Division, at MCB Camp Pendleton, California, for duties as a Battery First Sergeant for Tango Battery.
In May 2013, lstSgt Brown was promoted to his current rank of sergeant major and received orders to become the Battalion Sergeant Major for 1st Battalion, 11th Marines (1/11). In December 2015, SgtMaj Brown stood detached from 1/11 and reported to Recruiting Station (RS) Charleston in December 2015 to assume all duties as the RS Sergeant Major. In June 2017, SgtMaj Brown received orders to 6th Marine Corps District (6MCD) to assume all duties and responsibilities as the District Sergeant Major. In July 2019, SgtMaj Brown assumed all duties and responsibilities as the sergeant major of Marine Corps Recruiting Command. In August 2021, SgtMaj Brown received orders to Combined Maritime Forces Command (CMF), Manama, Bahrain, for duties as the Command Senior Enlisted Leader (CSEL).
His personal awards include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with 2 gold stars, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with 2 gold stars, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with a gold star.