Combined Maritime Forces’ Combined Task Force 154 Marks Productive First Year

By Combined Maritime Forces Public Affairs | May 22, 2024


Combined Maritime Forces’ Combined Task Force (CTF) 154 marked one year as the partnership’s multinational maritime training task force, May 22.

CTF 154 provides multinational maritime training across the Middle East, centered on five core areas: maritime awareness, law of the sea, maritime interdiction, maritime rescue and assistance, and leadership development. CTF 154 customizes training to meet partner needs, enabling more nations to participate in training evolutions, even without ships or aircraft.

Since standing up last year, CTF 154 has completed nearly 30 training exercises across five operations: Compass Rose I and II in Bahrain; Southern Readiness in the Seychelles, and Northern Readiness I and II in Jordan. These events connected more than 135 subject matter experts with over 400 participants from 23 countries.

“Working and training collectively allows us to operate more effectively,” said Vice Adm. George Wikoff, CMF commander. “With CTF 154 we’re boosting regional maritime security by providing the ‘go-to’ training that partners and members need to keep the advantage in a dynamic environment.”

The task force conducted their inaugural event, Compass Rose, in Bahrain May 22-25, 2023. The training included more than 50 participants from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and United States and focused on first aid and vessel boarding procedures. The second Compass Rose exercise also occurred in Bahrain that December, with training on visit, board, search and seizure procedures, vessel security, and watch officer fundamentals.

In July, CTF 154 traveled to the Seychelles for Exercise Southern Readiness. The exercise involved vessel boarding, search-and-rescue operation techniques, maritime law and navigation. This was undertaken by field experts from Canada, Australia, France, United Kingdom, India, Italy and the United States of America, including experts from Seychelles Coast Guard and the locally based office of the United Nations on Drugs and Crimes.

CTF 154 conducted operation Northern Readiness at the Royal Jordanian Naval Base in Aqaba, Jordan, in October. More than 30 CMF facilitators from eight nations led training courses on maritime awareness, law of the sea, VBSS, search and rescue, medical evacuations, seamanship development, public affairs, and leadership development.

In February, the Task Force held its largest scale event to date, Operation Northern Readiness II. Approximately 150 participants, facilitators, and observers took part, including representatives from CMF, European Union Naval Force Operation, and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research.

“Being the commander of Combined Task Force 154 is an honor for the Royal Jordanian Navy and for myself,” said Capt. Ayman Salem Alnaimat, who became CTF 154’s second commander in November. “As we celebrate a year of impressive accomplishments, I believe the task force has more to achieve. All CMF members and our regional maritime partners support our efforts, which promote interoperability, capacity, capability and cooperation.”

CMF is the largest multinational naval partnership in the world, with 43 nations committed to upholding the international rules-based order at sea, which promotes security, stability, and prosperity across approximately 3.2 million square miles of international waters, encompassing some of the world’s most important shipping lanes.

CMF’s other task forces include CTF 150 that focuses on maritime security in the Gulf of Oman and Indian Ocean; CTF 151, which leads regional counter-piracy efforts; CTF 152, dedicated to maritime security in the Arabian Gulf; and CTF 153 in the Red Sea.