Royal Navy Commodore Andrew Burns has taken command of the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command’s Task Force 50 in the Arabian Gulf during a change-of-command ceremony held onboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier.
He succeeds U.S. Navy Rear Adm. James Malloy, head of Carrier Strike Group 10, as CTF 50 commander and is the first British naval officer to lead a U.S. task force in the Middle East, the service branch said Friday.
Burns is also the commander of Amphibious Task Group embarked on the U.K.’s helicopter carrier and amphibious assault ship HMS Ocean.
Ocean will provide continued forward presence in the Arabian Gulf, as well as systems meant to assist in theater security cooperation efforts and maritime security operations in the region, the U.S. Navy noted.
NAVCENT oversees more than 2.5 million square miles of area that includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, North Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.