Royal Australian Navy hands over Command of Combined Task Force 150
24 April 2012
On Tuesday, 17th April Commodore Jonathan Mead AM, RAN handed over command of Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150) to Commodore Mukhtar Khan SI(M) of the Pakistan Navy during a change of command ceremony onboard Pakistan Naval Ship BADR, at the Mina Salman port facility, Bahrain.
The ceremony concluded the Royal Australian Navy’s highly successful third command of CTF 150, a multi-national task force that conducts Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in the Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.
Over the past six months, the team, comprised of personnel from the Royal Australian Navy and Royal New Zealand Navy, has planned and executed operations conducted by a range of ships and aircraft from CTF 150 contributing nations.
There has also been valuable interaction and cooperation with regional nations which has strengthened relationships between navies and further enhanced security in the maritime environment.
Commodore Mead said this was the third time Australia has led CTF 150 which had a powerful and far reaching effect on the maritime domain.
“We should not underestimate the role CTF 150 is playing to defeat terrorist activity on the high seas.”
“The sheer scale of the area, in excess of two million square miles or equivalent to the landmass of continental Australia, is probably the largest of any CTF and it involves our people coordinating with the other 26 CMF member nations, law enforcement agencies, and regional navies and coast guards.”
“These last four months have been exceptionally rewarding for both me and my team, who have invested many months of hard work, planning and international co-operation evidenced by the seizure of 240 kilograms of narcotics on 3 February. This marked the first interdiction of illicit cargo by a CMF asset in over two and a half years. The destruction of these drugs was a blow for terrorists who seek to fund their activities through the transportation of narcotics on the high seas.” Commodore Mead said.
The principal mission of CTF 150 is to deter, disrupt and defeat attempts by international terrorist organisations to use the maritime environment as a venue for an attack or as a means to transport personnel, weapons and other materials associated with terrorism.
CTF 150 vessels can also assist mariners in distress and undertake humanitarian work if required.
Nations participating in CTF 150 have included Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Republic of Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Imagery is available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/fotoweb/Grid.fwx?archiveId=5003&search=11122710.
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999