Rear Admiral Juan Rodriquez, commander of EU Combined Task Force 465, arrives by helicopter on British frigate HMS Cornwall to meet with Commodore Aleem, commander of Combined Task Force 151. (Photo: LA (Photo) Jenkins/Royal Navy)

Commodore Abdul Aleem of the Pakistan Navy, commander of Combined Maritime Forces’s counter piracy mission, known as Combined Task Force 151 (CTF 151), yesterday met with his European Union counter-part, Commander Combined Task Force 465 (CTF 465), Rear Admiral Juan Rodríguez, of the Spanish Navy.

The two commanders met for several hours aboard Commodore Aleem’s flagship, HMS Cornwall, while patrolling the Gulf of Aden. Rear Admiral Rodríguez and Commodore Aleem discussed 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 I had the great honour of hosting a valued partner in Rear Admiral Rodriguez. Our meeting was extremely beneficial in furthering relations and strengthening ties between Combined Maritime Forces and the European Union Naval Force. By coordinating our efforts and sharing information CMF and the EU can more effectively prosecute counter-piracy operations over our vast area of operation.”

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.

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 Somalia, CTF-151 conducts patrols in the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor and supports Best Management Practice methods for piracy avoidance that are promoted to the shipping industry.

CTF 151 is one of three task forces operated by Combined Maritime Forces, 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 throughout the Middle East maritime domain.