MANAMA, Bahrain – The Pakistan Navy assumed command of Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151), Sept. 27.
Captain James Gilmour of the Royal New Zealand Navy was relieved by Rear Admiral Kaleem Shoukat from the Pakistan Navy at a formal ceremony at NSA Bahrain.
CTF-151 is one of three task forces operated by Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), a 25-nation coalition based in Bahrain.
CTF-151 was established in January 2009 in order to deter, disrupt and suppress piracy, protecting maritime vessels of any nationality and securing freedom of navigation for the benefit of all. The mission based counter-piracy task force, CTF-151, operates throughout an area of 2.5 million square miles including the Gulf of Aden, the Southern Red Sea and the Somali Basin.
Captain James Gilmour of the Royal New Zealand Navy said:
“My team can happily look back on a range of important operational activities that have destroyed active pirate group equipment, denied their freedom of manoeuvre and most importantly, dented their sense of impunity.
“I have been extremely well supported by my coalition battle staff and my flag ship USS ANZIO. For the first time, the CTF 151 battle staff has been a true coalition one – with staff from Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Canada.
“I am thankful for the support of my team, the collaborative and close association of my fellow task force commanders and the leadership from Combined Maritime Forces Headquarters.”
Rear Admiral Shaukat from the Pakistan Navy said:
“Participation of the deployed Pakistan Navy in relation to counter piracy is in line with Pakistan’s decision to fight maritime crime in all its manifestation. The Pakistan Navy is committed to its role in maintaining stability and ensuring a secure environment for uninterrupted flow of vital energy supplies to the world while safeguarding the maritime interests of the international community.”
CTF-151 is a multinational force has been commanded by Republic of Korea, Turkey, Singapore and the US. This is the second time the Pakistan Navy has led CTF-151.