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April 18, 2022

CMF forms new task force to enhance Red Sea region’s security

CTF 153 will enhance maritime security in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Bab al-Mandeb.

The multinational naval partnership, Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), has established its fourth international naval task force.

Established on 17 April, the new Combined Task Force (CTF) 153 aims to enhance maritime security in the Red Sea region.

A ceremony to commission the new task force was held at the US Navy’s regional headquarters in Bahrain.

During the ceremony, US Naval Forces Central Command commander vice admiral Brad Cooper, along with the US 5th Fleet and CMF, commissioned CTF 153.

Cooper said: “This is a tangible and meaningful demonstration of our commitment to ensuring regional maritime security and stability through international cooperation.”

The new task force will work to improve international capacity building efforts and naval security in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Bab al-Mandeb.

As many as 15 personnel from the CMF member nations along with the US military personnel will be assigned as staff of the new task force.

Aboard the amphibious command ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), the CTF 153 staff is currently operating in the regional waters.

Apart from operating at the sea, the staff will also work from the CMF headquarters in Manama, Bahrain.

Currently, US Navy captain Robert Francis has been appointed as commander of the new CTF 153 by vice admiral Brad Cooper.

Later in autumn this year, the role of CTF commander will be assumed by a regional partner.

Established in 2001, CMF initially was a 12-member nation organisation, which focused to counter international terrorism.

The organisation expanded and presently includes around 34 member nations committed to the international rule-based order at sea.

Besides the CTF 153, CMF comprises of three more task forces including CTF 150, CTF 151 and CTF 152.

CTF 150 maintains maritime security in the Gulf of Oman and Indian Ocean, while CTF 151 leads regional counter-piracy efforts.

The third task force, CTF 152, looks after the maritime security in the Arabian Gulf region.

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