Egypt Takes Command of International Red Sea Task Force

By U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs | December 12, 2022

MANAMA, Bahrain --

The U.S. Navy turned over command of a newly formed international Red Sea task force to the Egyptian Navy, Dec. 12, during a ceremony in Bahrain where the multinational staff is headquartered.

U.S. Navy Capt. Robert Francis, who stood up Combined Task Force (CTF) 153 in April, handed command to Egyptian Navy Rear Adm. Mahmoud Abdelsattar. The transition marks the first time Egypt is assuming command of a Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) operational staff since joining the 34 member-nation naval partnership in 2021.

“I am incredibly proud of our efforts since launching this new task force only eight months ago,” said Francis. “It is a true honor to hand over command to an incredibly strong regional maritime partner like Egypt. I know the task force will continue to execute as one dynamic team, and I will always be celebrating their accomplishments from afar.”

CTF 153 is one of four CMF task forces. It was established April 17 to enhance international maritime security and capacity-building efforts in the Red Sea, Bab al-Mandeb and Gulf of Aden.

CMF’s other task forces include CTF 150, focused on maritime security in the Gulf of Oman, Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden; CTF 151, which leads regional counter-piracy efforts; and CTF 152, dedicated to maritime security in the Arabian Gulf.

“It is my honor to serve as commander of Combined Task force 153,” said Mahmoud. “The focus of my efforts will be to work closely together with regional countries, partners, and participating nations to maintain maritime security and stability in the region.”

Mahmoud’s 27 years of military experience began following graduation from the Egyptian Naval College in 1995. He has extensive experience in submarine operations and most recently served as the chief of staff for a naval base in Alexandria, Egypt.

CMF is headquartered in Bahrain with U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and U.S. Fifth Fleet.