January 20, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Commander Task Force 52 Established
MANAMA, Bahrain – Today, the U.S. 5th Fleet established Commander Task Force (CTF) 52, which will be responsible for all mine countermeasure operations.
Commanded by Capt. Brian Brakke, CTF 52 is comprised of four U.S. Navy mine countermeasure ships homeported in Bahrain, as well as Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM) 15.
Brakke will be responsible for coordinating all mine warfare assets throughout the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations to more effectively manage and conduct mine countermeasure operations. Other assets can be assigned for exercises and operations include four U.K. mine countermeasure ships with embarked dive teams and one U.S. explosive ordnance disposal mine countermeasures platoon.
“CTF 52 will help the U.S. 5th Fleet maintain security and stability in the region, which is vital for global prosperity,” said Brakke. “Mines pose a threat to all maritime traffic, regardless of nationality or purpose. We will support regional commanders with the ability to conduct mine hunting and sweeping operations and handle any mine contingency successfully.”
This newly established task force will also help ensure the sea lines of communication remain open, guaranteeing the free flow of commerce in and out of the region.
No additional mine countermeasure units were deployed to the region to establish the new mine task force. Rather, ships and aircraft already operating within the U.S. 5th Fleet will comprise CTF 52.
CTF 52 will also conduct other Maritime Security Operations (MSO), which helps develop security in the maritime environment. From security arises stability that results in global economic prosperity. MSO complements the counterterrorism and security efforts of regional nations and seeks to disrupt violent extremists’ use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.