Australian Navy Conducts Anti-Terrorism Ops

Royal Australian Navy personnel deployed as part of Combined Task Force 150 have been straight into a year of deterring and disrupting terrorism related activity on the high seas in the Middle East Region.

The 31 personnel working under Operation MANITOU as part of the Canadian-led headquarters are undertaking a unique headquarters staffing model; they comprise seven Australian members and 17 from the Royal Canadian Navy, two from the Royal Canadian Air Force, three from the Canadian Army and two civilians from the Canadian public service.

Taskforce Commander, Canadian Commodore Brian Santarpia, said the integration between the different elements and especially the two nations was a fantastic construct that reflected the strong relationship between the two defence forces.

Australian Navy Captain, Nick Stoker, said deploying personnel on Operation MANITOU was an important contribution to Australia’s commitment to a secure and stable Middle East.

Captain Stoker said there were many challenges associated with achieving the mission, primarily covering the vast area of operations which encompasses more than two million square nautical miles.

The sheer size of our area of operations presents a challenge to the reconnaissance aircraft and ships tasked to conduct maritime security operations.

We overcome this through good coordination and cooperation between the 30 nations working side by side to achieve the mission – this ensures we get the right assets and people into the right place at the right time.

But even the pace of work has some respite, with the interoperability crossing boundaries into off watch time.

Image: Australian Navy