MANAMA, BAHRAIN – The Royal Australian Navy assumed command of Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150), Dec. 15.

Commodore Clink (left) hands over to Commodore Mead (image by Lieutenant GH Turner Royal Navy - MOD / CROWN Copyright 2011)

Commodore Clink of the Royal Navy was relieved by Commodore Jonathon Mead, Royal Australian Navy, at a formal ceremony in NSA Bahrain, home of the United States 5th Fleet and the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).

Commodore Clink said:  “It has been a great privilege commanding CTF 150. My staff, and the ships from many nationalities that I have had the honour to command, have contributed significantly to the maritime security in the region, and I thank them sincerely for their sterling efforts over the last six months.  It is with great pride that I look back upon our achievements as we now look towards returning to the United Kingdom, and it is a pleasure to be handing over to the Royal Australian Navy, a service that I hold in the highest professional regard.  I wish Commodore Mead and his staff well for their time in command.”

Left to right - Commodores Clink, Ancona and Mead salute during the National Anthems (CMF Image - Lieutenant GH Turner Royal Navy - MOD / CROWN Copyright RELEASED

Commodore Mead said:  “I am looking forward to the challenge of leading Combined Task Force 150 and building upon the outstanding efforts of the UK’s Royal Navy team that we are relieving.  My staff and I have trained hard and are fully prepared for the significant responsibility of coordinating counter-terrorism and maritime security operations in some of the busiest and most strategically important waterways in the world.”

The ceremony was attended by Commodore Simon Ancona Royal Navy (Deputy Commander Combined Maritime Forces), and the Australian and British Ambassadors to Bahrain (CMF Image by Lieutenant GH Turner Royal Navy - MOD / CROWN Copyright 2011 RELEASED)

CTF 150 is one of three task forces operated by Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), a 25-nation coalition based in Bahrain.

CTF 150 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.

Its principal mission is to deter, disrupt and defeat attempts by international terrorist organizations (ITOs) to use the maritime environment as a venue for an attack or as a means to transport personnel, weapons and other materials.  It does this by conducting Maritime Security Operations (MSO). CTF-150 vessels also assist mariners in distress and undertake humanitarian work as required.