Task Force 52 Welcomes New Commander

By U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs | June 08, 2023

MANAMA, Bahrain --

The task force responsible for U.S. 5th Fleet’s mine countermeasures mission welcomed a new commander during a change of command ceremony at the U.S. Navy base in Bahrain, June 8.

Capt. Robert Porter relieved Capt. Oscar Rojas as commander of Task Force 52 at the ceremony. Rojas began leading task force in March 2021.

“Everything we accomplished together was done so with the utmost care and commitment,” said Rojas to Task Force 52 staff members at the ceremony. “I couldn’t have asked for a better group of men and women to serve alongside before my retirement.”

Under Rojas’s leadership, Task Force 52 conducted 65 multinational exercises, including 37 with counterparts from the United Kingdom Royal Navy which has representation on the task force staff.

Rojas also successfully deployed Bahrain-based minesweepers during an historic 5,000-mile transit from the Arabian Gulf to the Red Sea in 2021. The journey marked the first time the voyage was completed in seven years for U.S. Navy mine countermeasures ships. Porter assumes command after previously serving as chief of staff for Mine Countermeasures Squadron 7 in Sasebo, Japan.

“I look forward to taking command of this extraordinary mine countermeasures task force during this time of unparalleled innovation and change,” said Porter. “I am excited about the new systems and technologies coming to us and how we can best use them as force multipliers.”

The U.S. 5th Fleet operating area includes 21 countries, the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, parts of the Indian Ocean and three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, Bab al-Mandeb and Suez Canal.