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Bahrain Assumes Command of CTF 152

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS080304-13
Release Date: 3/4/2008 11:30:00 AM

From Combined Maritime Forces Public Affairs

MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- Royal Bahrain Navy Brig. Gen. Abdulla Saeed Al Mansoori relieved U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Bill Gortney as commander, Combined Task Force (CTF) 152 in a ceremony held at the Bahraini Naval Headquarters March 4, marking the first time coalition forces have been commanded by a Gulf nation.

Established in March 2004, CTF 152 is responsible for conducting Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in the central and southern Persian Gulf.

Guest speaker, Vice Adm. Kevin J. Cosgriff, commander, Combined Maritime Forces, said Bahrain taking charge of CTF 152 represents one of the successes of the coalition.

"In addition to actively denying violent extremists the use of the sea as a venue for terror or its facilitation, we work to help regional nations improve their own maritime capacity," he said. "The Bahrain Navy taking command of a task force is an example of a new capability built in part with coalition help."

Al Mansoori said being a part of the coalition was important, because maritime security is a significant responsibility.

"MSO is not a single country's mission, and no country can single-handedly achieve the goal of these operations," he said. "That's why we are joining our friendly navies in this imperative task."

Cosgriff praised Gortney for his accomplishments as task force commander.

"Rear Adm. Gortney assumed command of CTF 152 with a sophisticated regard to his duties and respect for the coalition, shaped by his considerable experience in the region," he said. "He has been an icon of creativity."

Under Gortney's leadership, CTF 152 fostered positive relationships with local mariners by conducting more than 300 Interaction Patrols (IPATS). Combined forces informed local mariners of the coalition's presence, commitment to maritime security, built a network of mutual trust and respect between regional navies and the mariners who use the Persian Gulf. They also conducted bilateral and multinational exercises with coalition partners.

IPATS are an element of MSO which help generate support and awareness amongst commercial vessels sailing in the region of the coalition's efforts to ensure a safe and secure maritime environment. Coalition forces also conduct MSO under international maritime conventions to ensure security and safety in international waters so that commercial shipping and fishing can occur safely in the region.

MSO help set the conditions for security in the maritime environment. From security arises stability that results in global economic prosperity. MSO complements the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations and seek to disrupt violent extremists' use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.

Gortney stressed the significance of a regional ally commanding Coalition naval assets in the region.

"I believe the key to success of Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in the region is the full integration of coalition partners against a common enemy," he said. "The relationship with our coalition partners has been exemplified in and bolstered by Al Mansoori, his staff, the crew of RBN Sabha and the U.S. Sailors who worked with him as we prepared for this change of command. I am proud to have served with him."

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