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Combined Task Force 158 Changes Hands

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS080710-08
Release Date: 7/10/2008 4:10:00 PM

From Combined Maritime Forces Public Affairs

NORTH PERSIAN GULF (NNS) -- Rear Adm. Kendall Card relieved Royal Navy Commodore Duncan Potts as commander of Combined Task Force (CTF) 158 during a ceremony held on Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminal (KAAOT) July 9.

The ceremony concluded the Royal Navy's successful four-month command of CTF 158, which typically rotates between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Potts said the most important achievement during his time as commander was helping train Iraq Security Forces to eventually assume responsibility for security.

"We have been able to help redefine the future for the Iraqi Navy and Marines and map out the path to full transition," he said. "I think we can look back on this as a period of accomplishment. Day-in and day-out, our baseline operations have continued, providing security and stability within Iraq territorial waters."

CTF-158 conducts Maritime Security Operations (MSO) around KAAOT and the Al Basrah Oil Terminal (ABOT) in support of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1790 in the North Persian Gulf.

This resolution charges the multinational force with the responsibility and authority to maintain security and stability in Iraq territorial waters and supports the Iraq government's request for security support.

Card said CTF 158 will continue to protect vital assets in the North Persian Gulf.

"The coalition's commitment to the future of Iraq is evident by the security operations we conduct to ensure the safety and security of ABOT and KAAOT now and into the future," said Card. "I am looking forward to continuing the hard work the Royal Navy and the rest of the coalition have done here in the Northern Arabian Gulf."

The Arabian Gulf is a body of water more commonly known as the Persian Gulf.

The protection of KAAOT and ABOT is important because approximately 90 percent of Iraq's gross domestic product passes through them.

CTF 158 operates jointly with Iraqi Navy sailors and marines trained by members of the Navy Transition Team based in nearby Umm Qasr.

MSO help set the conditions for security, which promotes stability and prosperity in the North Arabian Gulf. These operations protect Iraq's sea-based infrastructure, which provides the Iraqi people the opportunity for self-determination. MSO complement the counterterrorism 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.

For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet, visit

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