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Feature Stories

NEWS | July 16, 2019

Task Force Sinai Welcomes New Commander

By Staff Sgt. Kulani Lakanaria Task Force Sinai

U.S. Army Col. Mark P. Ott relinquished command of Task Force Sinai (TFS) to Col. Robert J. Duchaine at a change command ceremony hosted by Maj. Gen. John P. Sullivan, commander of the 1st Theater Sustainment Command (1TSC), on the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) parade square South Camp, Sinai, Egypt July, 15 2019.

Sullivan praised Ott for the accomplishments of TFS during his command. For his efforts, Ott was awarded the Legion of Merit, the Multinational Force and Observer Ribbon, and the MFO Director General’s Award for excellence in a ceremony that took place immediately before the change of command ceremony.

“The passing of the colors from Col. Mark Ott to Col. Rob Duchaine marks another chapter in this historic 37-year peacekeeping operation,” said Sullivan. “Serving as the commander of Task Force Sinai is one of our Army’s most challenging and rewarding command assignments. During the past year, Col. Ott not only served as Task Force Sinai commander but also as the Multinational Force and Observers Chief of Staff as well as the Force Commander's deputy commander. With these additional roles came a multitude of duties and responsibilities for the organization of 13 troop-contributing nations earning the reputation as being the honest broker for the 1979 treaty of peace.”

Ott held two positions while serving in the MFO, first as the Force Chief of Staff and then TFS commander. As the Force Chief of Staff, Ott coordinated and directed all staff actions within the Force. As commander he provided command and control for the entire U.S. Contingent.

The mission of the MFO is to supervise the implementation of the security provisions of the Egyptian-Israeli Treaty of Peace and employ best efforts to prevent any violation of its terms.

Ott reflected on his time as commander and took pride in the mission and serving the service members and civilians of TFS and the MFO. He thanked the leaders and Soldiers of Task Force Sinai for all the accomplishments they achieved during his tenure, expressing his confidence that they will continue their excellence under Duchaine’s leadership.

“One of the most rewarding aspects of serving in the MFO is the opportunity to be amongst and learn from the other 12 nations that make up this combined joint force,” said Ott. “I leave the MFO with lifelong memories and friends.”

Duchaine was assigned to the Joint Staff as an operations officer at the National Military Command Center before taking the reins of TFS.

"What an amazing privilege to be given a unique opportunity to join a talented group of men and women from across the United States Army and the world, undertaking a historic and time-honored mission dedicated to maintaining peace and stability in what has been the most volatile parts of the world,” said Duchaine. “I have been humbled by the extraordinary talent and dedication that I’ve witnessed in my short time on the ground here.”