Task Force 57 Holds Change of Command

By Commander U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs | | July 23, 2020


U.S. Naval Forces Central Command’s (NAVCENT) maritime patrol and reconnaissance force, Commander, Task Force (CTF) 57, held a change of command ceremony at Naval Support Activity Bahrain, July 23.

Capt. James P. Johnston relieved Capt. Price J. Lockard as commodore of CTF 57.

CTF 57 provides maritime surveillance and reconnaissance operations throughout the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations (AOO) with support from 13 U.S. and coalition task groups, representing 6 nations, and at times up to five types/models of aircraft.

Vice Adm. Jim Malloy, commander of NAVCENT, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces, spoke at the ceremony, lauding CTF 57’s accomplishments under Lockard’s leadership.

“Under Price’s steady and capable hand, we have never been better postured and more thoroughly prepared to respond because of the unity in effort from our CTFs enabled by the eyes and ears of CTF 57,” said Malloy. “If information is our game-changing advantage, our super-power, then CTF 57 has been both catalyst and accelerant - delivering actionable information used by all of our CTF commanders, all of 5th Fleet and other component commands throughout the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.”

During Lockard’s tenure from July 2018 to July 2020, CTF 57 provided reliable and consistent Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft coverage in support of the Fleet, Combined Maritime Forces, and International Maritime Security Construct.

Lockard also oversaw the transition of P-3 Orion to P-8A Poseidon platforms and integration of two EA-18G Growler squadrons into CTF 57.

“To the men and women of Task Force 57 Desert Sharks, you have my sincere appreciation for all of your hard work over the last two years,” said Lockard. “You provide operational excellence day in and day out. You are not the little Task Force that could, you are the little Task Force that does.”

Lockard will serve as a Naval ROTC professor of science in his next assignment at the University of Idaho, in Moscow, Idaho.

“It is an honor to be here today. My family and I are looking forward to getting to know each and every one of you in the days and weeks ahead,” said Johnston. “I commit to you that the men and women of Task Force 57 will strive to be our best at doing what we are uniquely qualified to do. That is to fly anti-submarine; maritime domain awareness; and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance missions to be your extra set of eyes and ears on station.”

Johnston reports to CTF 57 having most recently served as the Executive Assistant to Commander, Naval Air Forces in San Diego, Calif.

The U.S. 5th Fleet AOO encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The expanse is comprised of 20 countries and includes three critical chokepoints to the free flow of global commerce.