Bahrain takes task force command
Manama, January 7, 2011
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 Isa Al Doseri took over command of Combined Task Force (CTF)-152 from Brigadier General Jassim Al Ansari of the Kuwait Naval Force.
The handover ceremony, held at the Royal Bahrain Naval Base, was attended by the Minister of State for Defence Affairs Dr Shaikh 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.
Vice-Admiral Fox praised the efforts of the CTF-152 over the past few years, which he said contributed to the region and had since been enhanced and improved.
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.
Kuwait's command of CTF-152 was also praised by Colonel Abdullah Dashti.
The rotation enabled two senior officers to gain valuable experience of leading a multi-national task force, said officials.
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 Col Al Doseri.
'As an island nation, we understand the importance of the sea, whether it be for trade, defence or travel. The Arabian Gulf is one of the most important maritime regions in the world and plays a key role in global trade and by extension the world economy.'
'Maritime security in these waters is therefore 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,' he said.
'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.
'It is my belief that CTF-152 is now better placed to respond to whatever challenges or opportunities the future may bring with new members joining.'
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.-TradeArabia News Service
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