Australia’s eighth rotation in command of Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150) came to an end on 19 March after four months of maritime security operations, key leadership engagement and capacity building.
Navy Commodore Ray Leggatt handed over command of CTF 150, part of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), to a combined French/UK team led by French Marine Nationale, Captain Jacques Rivière, in a ceremony at Naval Support Activity Bahrain.
“We have had a very successful time here and we have advanced the mission of CTF 150 and CMF,” CDRE Leggatt said.
“I’m proud and honoured to have been given the opportunity to lead this diverse team of professionals from Australia, Canada and New Zealand, and grateful for the tremendous support of CMF.”
Since Australia assumed command in December last year with a staff drawn from the Royal Australian, Royal Canadian and Royal New Zealand navies, CTF 150 has conducted maritime security operations throughout the North Arabian Sea with the direct support of our Coalition partners, including France, Pakistan, the UK and the US.
Ships working in direct support of CTF 150 from December to March conducted 20 boardings that resulted in six seizures totalling 11.76 tonnes of drugs with an estimated regional wholesale value of US$6,199,577.
“These substantial seizures were possible because of the support of CMF partner nations,” CDRE Leggatt said.
“These countries not only provided platforms, but intelligence and know-how that translated into important operational outcomes. CTF 150 was able to exploit these assets to maximum benefit.”
CTF 150’s area of operation includes some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes and spans over 2 million square miles, covering the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman.
Task Force 150 was a US Navy formation under the control of the US Naval Forces Central Command (CENTCOM). After the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, it was re-established as a multinational coalition in order to undertake counter-terrorism operations at sea as part of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). The coalition has grown and evolved beyond that operation’s scope to encompass and address widely perceived maritime security threats to member states.