French Navy Rear Adm. Jean-Louis Kerignard relieved Australian Navy Commodore Greg Sammut as Commander, Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 during a change of command ceremony on board FS Somme (A 631), held in the Mina Salman port facility, Bahrain Apr. 4.
The ceremony concluded the Australian Navy’s second successful command of CTF 150, a multi-national task force that conducts Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in the Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.
Commodore Sammut said, “It has been a privilege to be entrusted with Australia’s second command of CTF 150. The close cooperation, professionalism and dedication of the many participating nations has contributed to the success of CTF 150. I am also thankful for the support of our CMF partners and regional friends in promoting security and stability throughout the area of operations.”
Responding, Admiral Kerignard said, “It is a great honour to take command of CTF 150 and we look forward to taking forward the outstanding work conducted by Australia in the coming months. It is essential that illegal maritime activity in this strategically important region is deterred, and by our efforts I believe that CTF 150 is a major contributor to regional security.”
Guest speaker Vice Adm. Mark Fox, Commander, Combined Maritime Forces, praised the effectiveness of CTF 150 as well as the accomplishments of Sammut and his staff.
“The Coalition is better prepared for the future because of Sammut’s strong leadership,” he said. “He led CTF 150 with insight, direction and courage, proving that our by our combined efforts – ready together – we are greater than the sum of our parts.”
Fox also said he looks forward to working with Kerignard in the Coalition.
“I am confident that under Kerignard’s leadership, Coalition operations will continue to be dynamic, persistent and effective, complementing the security efforts of regional nations.”
As well as his flagship, FS Somme, Rear Adm. Kerignard has the US Navy’s Carter Hall (LSD 50), the Pakistan Navy’s PNS Badr (F184), and the Royal Navy’s replenishment ship, RFA Diligence (A 132), under his tactical command. The ships will work together and with other contributors to detect and deter terrorist activities and promote safe operations by legitimate mariners in the region’s waterways.
CTF150 exists to create a lawful and stable maritime environment free from terrorism, smuggling and other illegal activities across an area of two million square miles, covering the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman.
CTF150 is a multinational task force. Participatory nations have included: Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Republic of Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, and Turkey, the United Kingdom and the U.S.
Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) is a multi-national naval partnership, which exists to promote security, stability and prosperity across approximately 2.5 million square miles of international waters in the Middle East, which encompass some of the world’s most important shipping lanes.