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According to a recent announcement issued by the US Naval Forces Central Command, a new task force will be assigned to the Middle East. The main goal of this task force will be to “improve operational capabilities to enhance maritime security” in the region.
The CTF 154 Task Force will focus on training local naval partners of the US, reducing its’ direct involvement in the area. This shift from direct influence and US presence in the area indicates a bigger change of strategy overall, as the US turns to focus on Asia, Europe and the Indo-Pacific.
“Establishing CTF 154 demonstrates our deep commitment to strengthening and expanding partnerships through new training opportunities that will enhance regional maritime security” said Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of US Naval Forces Central Command, US 5th Fleet and CMF, in a statement.
“We stood up this new task force to provide more opportunities for partners to train together. CTF 154 will lead multinational maritime training events throughout the Middle East to enable more nations and personnel to participate without ships or aircraft, particularly during exercises ashore,” Cmdr. Tim Hawkins, spokesman for the US Naval Forces Central Command, US 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces, told Breaking Defense.
CTF 154 training events will be held throughout the year based on partner requests, according to Hawkins. The first drill, known as Compass Rose, is taking place in Bahrain with more than 50 regional and international participants.
As opposed to the CTF 153 Task Force, which aims its’ efforts primarily on the Red Sea, it appears that CTF 154 will have a broader role across the region rather than a specific geographical focus.