Royal Australian Navy Assumes Command of International Task Force in Middle East


Royal Australian Navy’s Commodore Jonathan Mead has assumed command of Combined Maritime Operations in support of counter-terrorism in the Gulf region of the Middle East.

Supported by a team of Australian and New Zealand naval personnel, Commodore Mead now commands Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150) after conducting a handover ceremony with Commodore John Clink of the Royal Navy at the US Naval Central Command in Bahrain today.

Commodore Mead said it was a privilege to be entrusted with Australia’s third command of CTF 150. This also represents the first rotation for an Australian Commander to be supported by a Royal New Zealand Navy Deputy Commander, Captain Lance Cook.

“Both the Australian and New Zealand Defence Forces take great pride in contributing to the coalition efforts to maintain maritime security in such a vital region, for the stability and economic prosperity of the world at large,” Commodore Mead said.

During its deployment, CTF 150 will plan and execute operations conducted by ships and aircraft from Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) member nations across an area of two and half million square miles of international waters, encompassing the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman.

CTF 150 is one of three task forces operated by CMF, a multinational coalition headquarters that is based in Bahrain. The remaining task forces are CTF 151 (counter-piracy) and CTF 152 (Gulf maritime security).

The principal mission of CTF 150 is to deter and suppress exploitation of the maritime environment by those who perpetuate or enable terrorist acts.

CTF 150 vessels are concurrently committed to the development of regional state capacities to counter terrorists in order to combat threats to international peace and promote regional security and stability. CTF 150 vessels also assist mariners in distress and undertake humanitarian work as required.

Naval Today Staff, December 16, 2011