Royal Navy assumes command of CTF 150
The Royal Navy has taken command of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 after conducting a handover ceremony with the Royal Australian Navy held in Bahrain.
Commodore Guy Robinson of the Royal Navy assumed command of CTF150 from Commodore Jaimie Hatcher of the Royal Australian Navy.
Commodore Robinson will lead a team comprising personnel from the United Kingdom, United States Navy, and Royal Canadian Navy. For the first time, an officer of the Royal Saudi Naval Forces will be the CTF150 Chief of Staff.
Part of Combined Maritime Forces, CTF150 is combating terrorism by tackling the narcotics and weapons smuggling at sea that funds terrorist activities. Its vessels also assist mariners in distress and undertake other humanitarian work as required.
Passing over command, Commodore Hatcher said: “While HMAS Melbourne had three drug seizures and HMAS Darwin one under this CTF 150 rotation, these seizures were ably supported by a raft of other vessels assigned to CTF 150. The focused operation on the Makran Coast utilising US Patrol Boats; Australian, French, Pakistani, American and British major fleet units and a range of maritime patrol aircraft has paid dividends.”
For the last four months, under the command of the Royal Australian Navy, CTF 150 has been working to deter terrorists and smugglers from using the seas as an avenue to finance crime and terrorist activity.
Combined Maritime Forces ships recently seized large amounts of weapons from dhows transiting the Arabian Sea. During March 2016, HMS Darwin seized nearly 2,000 AK 47 rifles and other weapons while the French frigate FS Provence seized 1,500 rifles and grenade launchers.