CTF 150 commemorates ANZAC day with visit to HMAS Arunta and dawn service
On 23 April Rear Admiral Lebas, Commander of Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150), visited the Captain and crew of HMAS Arunta while the frigate was alongside in Bahrain. The Ship has been conducting counter terrorism operations in the Middle East and Indian Ocean since November 2016.
Rear Admiral Olivier Lebas, Commander of Combined Task Force 150 visits HMAS Arunta whilst alongside in Bahrain.
Crew members delivered presentations on the ship’s equipment and demonstrations of its operational boarding capabilities, which were proven when it seized over 800kg of hashish earlier this year in March.
The visit was a prelude to ANZAC day, held on the 25 April, for which a dawn service was held to commemorate all men and women who have served in the Australian Defence Force, and to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The day marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. On 25 April 1915 the ANZAC forces landed at Anzac cove beginning the land phase of the Gallipoli Campaign.
The campaign was planned in the wake of a stalemate on the Western Front. It aimed to secure the route to the Black Sea through the Dardanelles, divert Ottoman troops from the Caucasus and draw Bulgaria and Greece into the war on the Allied side.
The date also marks the 99th Anniversary of the Second Battle of Villers-Bretonneux in April 1918 where two Australian brigades launched a successful counter attack preventing the German Forces from capturing Amiens.
For the dawn service, members of the Combined Maritime Forces were joined by crew members from HMAS Arunta and diplomatic representatives from Australia, New Zealand, Turkey and the UK.
HMAS Arunta is set to resume its counter-terrorism mission with CTF 150 in the Indian Ocean.
MULTI-NATIONAL COUNTER PIRACY EXERCISE SHARPENS SKILLS
Ships and aircraft from four nations of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) conducted an advanced Counter Piracy Validation Exercise (CPVE) 20 Apr 17 under the direction of the Commander Combined Task Force 151 (CCTF 151).
Image: Boarding Exercise (HMS Monmouth and ROKS Choi Young’s RHIB at sea) Photo Taken by Kang, Joo Seok (ROKS Choi Young)
The exercise took place in the Gulf of Aden (GOA), adjacent to the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC), demonstrating the task force’s professional and highly effective capability. The activities reassured crews of merchant vessels and fishing fleets and communities in the vicinity – particularly pertinent after recent piracy attacks in the region.
Image: Boarding Exercise (HMS Monmouth and ROKS Choi Young’s RHIB at sea) Photo Taken by Kang, Joo Seok (ROKS Choi Young)
The Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) ship Teruzuki and P-3 Maritime Patrol Aircraft, the Republic of Korea Navy ship Choi Young, the US Navy ship Carter Hall, and the UK Royal Navy ship HMS Monmouth conducted a variety of training evolutions that reinforced collective tactics, procedures and quick information sharing designed to deter, deny and suppress piracy in the region.
Activities included boarding exercises from Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs) on to participating warships, designed to hone skills and inspire confidence of interoperability, teamwork and collective effectiveness against pirates.
Image: Boarding EX (ROKS Choi Young’s Team Embarking to RHIB) Photo Taken by Kang, Joo Seok (ROKS Choi Young)
Image: Boarding EX (HMS Monmouth’s team on ROKS Choi Young) Photo Taken by Kang, Joo Seok (ROKS Choi Young)
Commander CTF 151, Rear Admiral Tatsuya Fukuda JMSDF, said: “This exercise was an excellent opportunity for the highly capable and well trained Ships’ Companies from my multi-national task force to demonstrate their commitment and ability to communicate and cooperate in operations designed to counter any intent or act of piracy.”
He added: ”The international waters in the GOA and IRTC form an essential route for merchant vessels. Our Counter Piracy operations in this area are primarily focused on maintaining Freedom of Navigation and the continued free flow of commerce.”
Image: FAREWELL (USS Carter Hall, ROKS Choi Young, HMS Monmouth, JS Teruzuki) Photo Taken by Kang, Joo Seok (ROKS Choi Young)
Canada hands over to France at the CTF150 Change of Command Ceremony
The French Navy (Marine Nationale), supported by the UK Royal Navy (RN), has assumed command of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) after conducting a handover ceremony with the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). CTF150’s principal mission is to disrupt terrorist organisations and their unlawful activities by restricting freedom of manoeuvre in the maritime domain.
Image: Cdre Edmundson (left), VADM Donegan (centre), and RADM Lebas(right) conducting the handover of CTF150.
Rear Admiral (RADM) Olivier Lebas of the French Navy assumed command of CTF150 from Commodore Haydn Edmundson of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) on 13th April 2017 in a ceremony held at Naval Support Activity in Manama, Bahrain.
CTF150 has been combating terrorism by tackling the narcotics trafficking at sea that is suspected of funding terrorist activities. Notable highlights have included the HMAS Auranta seizure on 2nd March where 800 kg of hashish was found and two seizures by USS Laboon on 13th and 17th March yielding 500kg of hashish and 270kg of heroin respectively. Of particular importance was the seizure of heroin, the first such seizure in nearly a year. In total, CTF150 Seized 1342 kg hashish, 1 kg opium and 270 kg of heroin. Concurrently, CTF150 also restricts the use of the seas to conduct maritime attacks, human trafficking, and transportation of illegal weapons.
Image: Incoming French led and UK supported CTF150 team.
A key focus of the Canadian-led CTF150, beyond operations, was improving communication, coordination and collaboration between the three Task Forces within CMF. This was significantly enhanced by Canada introducing an information sharing downlink known as URSA (Unclassified Remote-sensing Situational Awareness system). CTF150 also planned and executed Cutlass Express 2017 on behalf of CMF, which included mentor and training teams in Djibouti, Kenya, and Madagascar, as well as Public Affairs training and Senior Leader Seminars in Mauritius. Key Leader Engagements (KLEs) were conducted with well-established CMF partners such as Pakistan and the Kingdom of Suadi Arabia, as well as emerging partners such as Tanzania and Kenya.
Handing over command, Commodore Edmundson said: “It has been my honour to lead this outstanding group of professionals who worked diligently in achieving the CMF mission.
Image: Outgoing Canadian led, Australian supported CTF150 team.
“This Canadian-Australia alliance continues to demonstrate our shared values and commitment to maritime security across the globe. Canada and Australia should be proud of the outstanding achievements of their deployed personnel.”
On assuming command, RADM Lebas acknowledged the successes of Commodore Edmundson’s team, he said: “We look forward to building on the outstanding achievement of Commodore Edmundson and his staff, and working alongside our CMF partners to promote security and stability throughout this area.”
Under a French lead, this will be the first combined French-UK command of CTF150 which operationalises French-UK naval co-operation under the Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF). This framework was initiated in 2010 under the Lancaster House Agreement between London and Paris.
Lieutenant General Lee Visits Combined Maritime Forces and NAVCENT
On 8th April 2017, Lieutenant General (GEN) Wangkeun Lee visited Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) and U.S. Naval Central Command (NAVCENT) in Bahrain, to meet Commodore William Warrender (Deputy Commander CMF) and Rear Admiral Thomas Marotta (Vice Commander NAVCENT).
The visit was in order for Lieutenant General Lee to gain a common appreciation of operations in Somali waters, and to understand the current involvement of the Republic of Korea (RoK) Navy with CMF and Combined Task Force (CTF) 151.
Image: Lt Gen Lee with Cdre Warrender and RADM Marotta outside CMF and NAVCENT Headquarters.
Lieutenant General Wangkeun Lee is Chief Director for Military Support from the Republic of Korea Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Commander of Royal Canadian Navy Visits Combined Maritime Forces
On 2nd April 2017, the Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), Vice Admiral Lloyd, visited the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) Headquarters and U.S. Fifth Fleet in Bahrain as part of an official visit prior to Canada handing over command of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 on 13th April 2017. Discussion focused on operations in the Gulf region and the current involvement of the Royal Canadian Navy with CMF and CTF150.
Image (L to R): Cdre Edmundson (CCTF150), Cdre Warrender (DCCMF), VADM Lloyd (CRCN), RADM Black (DCOM), and RADM Marotta (VCOM).
Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) is a multi-national naval partnership, which exists to promote security, stability and prosperity across approximately 3.2 million square miles of international waters, which encompass some of the world’s most important shipping lanes.
CMF’s main focus areas are defeating terrorism, preventing piracy, encouraging regional cooperation, and promoting a safe maritime environment.
PAKISTANI SHIP JOINS COUNTER PIRACY TASK FORCE
On Monday 3 April the Pakistani Navy ship, PNS Tippu Sultan, joined Combined Task Force 151 in its counter piracy mission off the coast of Somalia.
Pakistan has been at the forefront of counter piracy measures in the region for many years, with PNS Tippu Sultan having undertaken these duties on several previous deployments. She is warmly welcomed back into Combined Task Force 151 (CTF151).
Image: PNS Tippu Sultan during her deployment with CMF between 19 November 2015 and 3 January 2016. During this period the ship conducted maritime security patrols in the international waters off the Horn of Africa and Makran Coast.
Over the coming months PNS Tippu Sultan’s key roles will be to patrol the waters of the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden and Somali basin, offer protection to merchant vessels, both regional and international, and support the wider Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) mission to improve maritime security in the region.
CTF151 has strengthened counter piracy efforts in the region in close coordination with the European Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) Task Force CTF465 and other counter piracy partners. Supported from within CMF, CTF151 continues to engage and build regional capacity to protect global maritime trade and ensure freedom of navigation.
Speaking on the occasion of PNS Tippu Sultan joining CTF151, Rear Admiral Tatsuya Fukuda, Commander Combined Task Force 151, said: “Operating within CTF151, PNS Tippu Sultan will be directly contributing to this international counter piracy operation in order to deter, disrupt and suppress piracy in the region.”
Commander Combined Task Force 151 RADM Tatsuya Fukuda engages with the Djibouti Minister for Defence Ali Hassan Bahdon and other key members of the Djibouti Armed Forces in a series of Key Leadership Engagements (KLEs) with counter-piracy stakeholders in the region.
Mr Bahdon said: “If this region is not stable it will spread around the world. Piracy has decreased but is not eradicated.
“CTF151’s presence and efforts are very important and welcome”.
The engagement reinforces the commitment of CTF151 and Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) in working closely with stakeholders in the Gulf of Aden to maintain safe navigation for all.
Image: RADM Fukuda giving Minister Bahdon a CTF151 wooden plaque.
RADM Fukuda also met with the Commandant of Camp Lemonnier, the Commander of Combined Joint Task Force (Horn of Africa), Commander of the German/Spanish Aviation detachment, and Japanese Self-Defence Forces (JSDF) staff based in Djibouti.
Image: RADM Fukuda with some of his CTF151 staff meet JSDF personnel stationed in Djibouti.
The Japanese Deployment Air Force for Counter-Piracy Enforcement (DAPE) and Deployment Support Group for Counter-Piracy Enforcement Forces (DGPE) operate P3-C surveillance sorties over the Horn of Africa in support of CTF151’s Counter Piracy efforts and are based out of Djibouti.
The visit was also an opportunity for RADM Fukuda and his staff to meet with officers and crew of JS Kirisame which was in port in Djibouti. JS Kirisame is currently deployed for Counter-Piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.
Image: RADM Fukuda interatcs with staff from JS Kirisame.
Prior to his visit to Djibouti, RADM Fukuda and his CTF151 staff visited European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) Somalia. Discussion focused on capability and cooperation between the two counter-piracy organisations.
Image: RADM Fukuda meets Col Richard Cantrill OBE MC, Chief of Staff of EUNAVFOR.
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