U.S Navy Turns Over Command Of Combined Task Force To The Italian Navy

Italian Navy
Image Credits: Wikipedia

On April 3, 2024, the Italian Navy took command of Combined Task Force (CTF) 153 from the United States Navy during a change of command ceremony at the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) headquarters.

Italian Navy Capt. Roberto Messina took over for US Navy Capt. David Coles, who had led CTF 153 since November. This is Italy’s third time commanding a CMF task force since the maritime alliance was formed in 2002.

CTF 153, established on April 17, 2022, is one of five task forces under CMF in charge of various maritime security activities.

CTF 153’s responsibilities include the Bab al-Mandeb, the Red Sea, and the western Gulf of Aden. It focuses on preventing and restricting illicit activities. It aims to improve marine security, protect free navigation, and promote regional multinational collaboration.

Under Capt. Coles’ leadership, CTF 153, led Operation Prosperity Guardian, a multinational initiative involving 24 countries to ensure freedom of travel in crucial waterways.

Navy
Image Credits: US Navy

He praised the teamwork and dedication of CTF 153 personnel and units and highlighted their substantial contributions to regional maritime security.

Capt. Messina expressed his commitment to leading CTF 153 and emphasised the necessity of international cooperation in ensuring regional maritime stability.

Messina will be in charge of planning, coordinating, and executing maritime security operations in the area. CMF, comprising 42 countries, is the world’s largest naval partnership.

In addition to CTF 153, additional CMF task forces are responsible for various maritime security objectives, such as anti-piracy initiatives, training, and operations in other regions, such as the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, and Indian Ocean.

The change of command ceremony represents a seamless leadership transition, guaranteeing that efforts to improve maritime security and stability in the region will continue under the direction of the Italian Navy.

Reference: US Navy

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