Bahrain to Command Combined Task Force
Bahrain has taken command of an international coalition set up to combat terrorism, piracy and drug trafficking in Gulf waters.
Royal Bahrain Naval Force's Colonel Issa Al Dosseri took over command of Combined Task Force (CTF)-152 from Brigadier General Jassim Al Ansari of the Kuwait Naval Force.
Held at the Royal Bahrain Naval Base, the handover ceremony was attended by the Minister of State for Defense Affairs Dr Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulla Al Khalifa. Also present were Commander of US Naval Forces Central Command, Fifth Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces Vice-Admiral Mark Fox and US Ambassador Adam Ereli.
Kuwait Naval Force had assumed command of CTF-152 from the UAE Navy in May last year. This was the first time that the command was passed directly from one GCC nation to another.
Bahrain became the first Gulf country to take over command of CTF-152 in March 5, 2008. 'Bahrain is proud to have the opportunity to command CTF-152 for a second time,' said Colonel Al Dosseri.
'As an island nation, we understand the importance of the sea, whether it be for trade, defense or travel. The Arabian Gulf is one of the most important maritime regions in the world. Therefore, maritime security in these waters is important not just to Gulf nations, but also to the international community as a whole.'
Brig Gen Al Ansari said that the last six months had been the first time Kuwait commanded a task force. 'During this time we have made a positive contribution to the security of the Arabian Gulf through daily maritime security operations. In the longer term, through our exercises and evolutions, we have also enhanced the ability of Gulf nations and our international partners to work together in an effective manner.
CTF-152 is one of three task forces operated by the Combined Maritime Forces, a 25-nation coalition based in Bahrain. It operates in the Arabian Gulf, conducting maritime security operations in conjunction with GCC partners.