Combined Task Force Commodore Presides Over Promotion of Royal Navy Liaison Officer

By Ensign Emily Moore, USS Mason public affairs | December 29, 2023


The commodore of the Combined Maritime Forces’ Combined Task Force 153 presided over the promotion of a Royal Navy liaison officer Dec. 24 aboard USS Mason, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer supporting Operation Prosperity Guardian in the Red Sea.

U.S. Navy Capt. David Coles, the commodore of the task force, awarded Lt. Jonty Paul Sutton his new rank slide in a ceremony attended by members of the Mason’s crew.

“It was a distinct privilege to pin the rank of lieutenant on Jonty Sutton,” said U.S. Navy Capt. David Coles, the commodore of the task force. “Lieutenant Sutton’s expertise and his 26 years of experience in the Royal Navy have been vital to Operation Prosperity Guardian’s success. It was truly an honor for CTF 153 and me to take part in this special day for our coalition teammate.”

Sutton enlisted in the Royal Navy at the age of 20 and advanced to chief petty officer before being commissioned.

He was temporarily transferred to the Mason from the Royal Navy’s Type 45 air-defense guided missile destroyer HMS Diamond (D34), also supporting Operation Prosperity Guardian, on which he is working toward 600 bridge hours to qualify as an officer of the watch.

Aboard Mason, Sutton experienced the daily life of a U.S. Navy sailor and observed routine operations in the pilot house, combat information center, engineering spaces and flight deck, sharing his personal experiences along the way.

Led by Combined Task Force 153 of the Combined Maritime Forces, Operation Prosperity Guardian represents a focused, international effort to address maritime security challenges in the southern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, with the goal of ensuring freedom of navigation for all countries and bolstering regional security. More than 20 countries have confirmed their participation in the operation.

“Multiple countries being present highlights that this is a world issue and shows all of our commitment to reassuring and protecting merchant ships,” Sutton said.