Vice Adm. Mark Fox, left, commander, Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) shakes hands with Rear Adm. Chaiyot Sundaranaga, commander, Frigate Squadron 2, Royal Thai Navy aboard HTMS Similan during a ceremony marking the end of a 90-day counter-piracy deployment for Similan and her crew. The Royal Thai Navy became the 25th member nation of Combined Maritime Forces when Similan began its deployment in September. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Aramis X. Ramirez/Released)

Vice Adm. Mark Fox, commander, Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), met with Rear Adm. Chaiyot Sundaranaga, commander, Frigate Squadron 2, Royal Thai Navy (RTN), to mark the end of the first mission of the RTN Anti-Piracy Task Unit’s first mission aboard the HTMS Similan, Dec. 3.

The ceremony held marked the end of a 90-day deployment for the crew of Similan. It was the first involvement of RTN forces in CMF. Thailand joined CMF in September.

“The Thai Navy is a valued partner and we are extremely pleased they have been a major contributor to our coalition team,” Fox said. “I look forward to our continued partnership with the Royal Thai Navy as part of Combined Maritime Forces.”

Patrol ship HTMS Pattani joined Similan operating in the Gulf of Aden and the Somali Basin under Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 supporting counter-piracy and maritime security operations.

“Thailand is a nation with extensive maritime interests; its Navy has done a remarkable job protecting their commercial shipping and their experience proved invaluable while part of CTF 151 and CMF,” Fox said. “We readily welcome their continued support and look forward to the next time they are able to deploy to this region.”

CTF 151 is one of three task forces operated by Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), a 25-nation coalition based in Bahrain. Its main focus areas are defeating terrorism, preventing piracy, reducing illegal activities and promoting a safe maritime environment. In conjunction with NATO and EU Naval Force (EUNAVFOR), ships from CTF 151 patrol in the Somali Basin and the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) in the Gulf of Aden. CTF 151 also helps promote to the shipping community best management practice methodology for the avoidance of piracy.