MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Gary Roughead, on behalf of U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, presented Royal Bahrain Navy Brig. Gen. Abdulla Saeed Al Mansoori with the Legion of Merit at an awards ceremony at Bahraini Naval headquarters in Manama, Bahrain, Aug. 23.
Al Mansoori received the award in recognition of his leadership of Combined Task Force (CTF) 152, which marked the first time a Gulf nation commanded a coalition task force.
Al Mansoori commanded CTF 152 from March to June 2008.
"General Abdulah's strategic vision and exceptional spirit of cooperation greatly enhanced teamwork and trust between the navies of the United States and Bahrain by enhancing and standardizing interoperability during a period of increasingly complex security challenges," said the official award citation signed by Gates. "General Abdullah's leadership and determined efforts to significantly invest in Bahrain's naval relationship with the United States has bolstered regional maritime security through his keen understanding of the use of seapower as an instrument of world peace."
Al Mansoori relieved then Rear Adm. William Gortney as Commander, CTF 152 March 4, 2008. Gortney commanded CTF 152 and Carrier Strike Group 10, aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), prior to assuming command of Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) July 5, 2008.
Established in 2004, CTF 152 is responsible for conducting maritime security operations (MSO) in the central and southern Arabian Gulf.
Under Al Mansoori's command, CTF 152 fostered positive relationships with local mariners by conducting more than 300 interaction patrols (IPATS). Coalition naval forces built a network of mutual trust and respect between regional navies, as well as mariners in the Arabian Gulf, and conducted bilateral and multinational exercises with coalition partners.
Al Mansoori led one operation and two exercises during his command of the task force. Operation Stake Net focused on protecting key economic infrastructure in the central and southern Arabian Gulf. Exercise Goalkeeper II and III helped CTF 152 improve interoperability while enhancing regional security and keeping the sea lanes open for the vital flow of commerce throughout the region.
The Legion of Merit is a military decoration of the U.S. armed forces that is awarded for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements. The decoration is issued both to U.S. military personnel and to military and political figures of foreign governments.
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusnc/.