Republic of Singapore Navy Rear Adm. Harris Chan Weng Yip relieved Pakistani Navy Commodore Abdul Aleem as Commander, Combined Task Force (CTF)151 during a change of command ceremony on board HMS Cornwall (F 99), held at the port facility, Djibouti Mar. 31.
The ceremony concluded the Pakistan Navy’s first command of CTF 151, a multi-national task force established in 2009 in order to deter, disrupt and suppress piracy, protect maritime vessels of any nationality and secure freedom of navigation for the benefit of all. CTF 151’s area of operation encompasses an area of some 1.1 million square miles in the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin.
Commodore Aleem said, “This region is of major importance to international trade and the world economy, and therefore the problem of piracy has particular potency. During my time in command the ships, aircraft and people assigned to me have scored some significant victories through the disruption of suspected acts of piracy, the interception of individuals believed to be engaging in piracy and restoring the liberty of hostages by releasing them from their pirate captors.
“These are real and tangible achievements and I am proud that during Pakistan’s tenure the actions of CTF 151 have resulted in such positive outcomes. Furthermore it underlines how international cooperation in the fight against piracy must underpin everything we do.”
Responding, Admiral Harris Chan said, “I am privileged to take command of CTF 151 which has had such a major impact on those who would commit acts of piracy. Such criminality is a scourge that must be countered by the strength of nations acting together for the common good. CTF 151 epitomises the inherent flexibility of coalition operations and I am honoured to be taking forward the Pakistan navy’s outstanding work.”
Commander, Combined Maritime Forces, Vice Adm. Mark Fox, praised the accomplishments of Aleem and his staff. “CTF 151 has scored numerous victories in the fight against piracy during Aleem’s tenure. He has been an inspirational leader who was always prepared to take the fight to the enemy and in doing so, has done much to ensure that the seas remain free for legitimate mariners.”
Fox added that he looked forward to working with Harris Chan in the Coalition.
“Harris Chan brings all the professionalism and determination of the Republic of Singapore’s Navy with him. I have no doubt that under his leadership, CTF 151 will continue to be a resilient, adept and highly effective force for good in the region.”
CTF 151 is one of three task forces operated by Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), a 25-nation coalition based in Bahrain. CMF is a multinational force which includes Republic of Korea, Turkey, Singapore, UK and the US. This is the second time the Republic of Singapore has led CTF151.