Royal Navy Hands Over Combined Task Force 158 to U.S. Forces

Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Rear Adm. Garry E. Hall relieved Royal Navy Commodore Nick Lambert as commander of Combined Task Force (CTF) 158 and Capt. Paul Severs relieved Royal Navy Capt. Bob Sanguinetti as commander of Combined Task Group (CTG) 158.1 on July 17 aboard Ocean 6, an afloat forward operating barge in the north Persian Gulf. Command of CTF 158 typically rotates among coalition partners Australia, United Kingdom, and the United States.

CTF 158 is comprised of coalition ships and its primary mission in the Gulf is maintaining security in and around both the Al Basrah and Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminals -- ABOT and KAAOT, respectively -- in support of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1723. This resolution charges the multinational force with the responsibility and authority to maintain security and stability in the Iraqi territorial waters and also supports the Iraqi government's request for security support. “I am looking forward to [continuing] the hard work the Royal Navy and the coalition has done in the [Gulf],” said Hall, who is also commander of Task Forces 51 and 59. “It is a very important mission to assist the Iraqi nation for self-determination.”

The primary mission of CTG 158.1 is to provide 24-hour protection to Iraq’s oil terminals, KAAOT and ABOT. The task group operates from Ocean 6, which is a command and control platform in support of personnel assigned to protect the oil platforms. “My staff is ready and prepared to take on this coalition mission,” said Severs who is also the commodore for Destroyer Squadron 50. “We will play a vital role in maritime operations.”

Maritime operations help set the conditions for security and stability in the NAG and protect Iraq's sea-based infrastructure, which provides the Iraqi people the opportunity for self-determination. Iraq's oil platforms account for about 90 percent of the country's gross domestic product.

From Expeditionary Strike Group 2 Public Affairs

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