Royal Canadian Navy Captain Collin Matthews assumed command of Combined Task Force 150 from France during a recent ceremony in Bahrain, overseeing anti-crime and terrorism operations.
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Combined Task Force 150 conducts maritime security operations and capacity building in the Gulf of Oman and North Arabian Sea, spanning 5 million square kilometres and overseeing some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.
It was established in 2001 to counter transnational crime elements operating around the Middle East and the Horn of Africa. It conducts activities against criminal and terrorist groups operating in the region, keeping civilian transit safe.
The command rotates on a six-monthly basis and Canada will receive support from the Australian and New Zealand Defence Forces during the tenure.
CTF 150 is one of five current Combined Task Forces, making it one of the world’s largest multi-nation maritime partnerships. It consists of 39 member nations.
CAPT Matthews wants to continue building on the success of CTF 150 under French leadership.
“It is an honour to take command of CTF 150 and a privilege to lead this collection of dedicated CAF personnel for the next six months. We are eager to build on the achievements of the French command team,” CAPT Matthews said.
“The success of this operation lies with our ability to work with like-minded nations toward the same goals, ensuring that legitimate commercial shipping can transit the region free from non-state threats and we are ready to face this task.”
Canada will head the task force until July 2024.
Vice-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie, Commander Canadian Joint Operations Command, welcomed the opportunity to provide leadership over the international operation.
“I am proud to see Canada take the lead of CTF 150 once again. This opportunity demonstrates Canada’s dedication to maritime security and the confidence our Royal Canadian Navy personnel inspire with our international allies and partners,” he explained.
“I wish Captain (Navy) Matthews, his fellow CAF personnel, and our partners from Australia and New Zealand, fair winds and following seas.”