Saudi Arabia assumes command of CTF 150

Captain Riviere of the French Marine Nationale handed over Command of the Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150) to Rear Admiral Alfaqeeh of the Saudi Royal Naval Force in a virtual ceremony on Monday.

This was the eleventh occasion that the French Marine Nationale has commanded the task force to support Combined Maritime Forces’ (CMF) maritime security mission in the region, continuing to support 17 ships and operations at sea throughout the global COVID-19 pandemic. 

In addition, this will be the Saudi Royal Naval Force’s second command of the task force. 

Speaking via video link at the conference, Captain Riviere said: “I was very fortunate to be able to draw the CTF 150 team from not only France, but also the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates, building a combined, diverse and effective staff made up of professionals from three very capable nations.” 

After four months of leading CTF 150, Captain Riviere passed the baton onto Rear Admiral Alfaqeeh of the Saudi Royal Naval Force, who has an accomplished military record spanning almost thirty years. He has commanded ships and squadrons, and has served tours in the West Fleet, as well as experience commanding in a coalition. 

Rear Admiral Alfaqeeh said: “It is such a great opportunity to work and represent my country with such a professional and enthusiastic team. Our team members come from Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United States.  

Photo: CMF

CTF 150 is one of three task forces operated by CMF. CTF 150 conducts Maritime Security Operations (MSO) outside the Arabian Gulf to ensure that legitimate commercial shipping can transit the region, free from non-state threats.

Photo: CMF