Commodore Abdul Aleem, commander Combined Task Force 151 (CTF 151), the counter piracy mission of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), yesterday met with his NATO counter-part, Commodore Michiel Hijmans, who commands Combined Task Force 508 (CTF 508).
The two commanders met on board HNLMS De Ruyter (Royal Netherlands Navy) in the Gulf of Aden to discuss matters of mutual concern, including cooperation in the deployment of ships and aircraft in the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin.
Speaking after the meeting, Commodore Aleem said: “Today was a chance to renew the mutually beneficial and productive relationship between Combined Maritime Forces and NATO. Our area of operation is simply huge, so by coordinating the activities or our warships and aircraft, we can ensure they are deployed in the most effective way. The pirates are resourceful and capable of adapting their behaviour. Therefore it is essential that counter-piracy operations share their intelligence and develop their strategies in order to remain one step ahead”.
Commodore Hijmans stated: “Piracy is a common problem that directly effects the world economy, to counter it international cooperation is essential. In maritime cooperation personal relations have proven one of the keys to success. The visit of commodore Abdul Aleem SI(M) was therefore very useful and appreciated. It strengthens our relationship and allows us to counter piracy to the maximum of our abilities as naval forces”
The Pakistan Navy has been in command of CTF 151 since the end of November, when Commodore Aleem relieved Rear Admiral Sinan Ertugrul of the Turkish Navy. In recent months the multi-national force has included ships from Australia, Republic of Korea, Pakistan, Thailand, Turkey, UK and U.S. In addition to Pakistan, the command team includes staff from Canada, Netherlands and U.S.
CTF-151’s mission is to deter, disrupt and suppress piracy, protecting maritime vessels of any nationality and securing freedom of navigation in the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin. In conjunction with NATO and EU Naval Force (EUNAVFOR), CTF-151 conducts patrols in the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) and supports Best Management Practice (BMP) methods for piracy avoidance that are promoted to the shipping industry.
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.