Egypt took command of the multinational Combined Task Force 153 on Dec. 12 during a ceremony in Bahrain. The task force, which was established in April 2022, focuses on maritime security in the Red Sea, the Bab el-Mandeb and the Gulf of Aden. Egypt’s laudable new leadership of CTF 153 and the task force’s growing momentum will help secure vital waterways, while building partner capacity and enhancing cooperation among regional and international forces.
That’s more important than ever as Iran, its terror proxies and others continue to use the Red Sea to conduct illicit smuggling and disrupt international shipping. Expanding CTF 153 and its parent organization, the Combined Maritime Forces, to include countries such as Israel can help secure crucial sea lines of communication.