REGIONAL FRIENDSHIP FORGED WITHIN COMBINED MARITIME FORCES

The Royal Australian Navy frigate, HMAS PARRAMATTA, and Royal Saudi Naval Force Ship, RSNF AL-TAIF, rendezvoused in the Southern Red Sea to conduct a co-ordinated transit, Jan.20.

The two ships are both operating with Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 (maritime counter terrorism), part of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) that patrols the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman.

Commander Guy Blackburn, Commanding Officer HMAS PARRAMATTA, said “This marks CTF 150’s second interaction with the Royal Saudi Naval Force (RSNF) and is noteworthy due to its close proximity to the Bab Al Mandeb Strait, which is a key strategic chokepoint for the passage of merchant ships.”

HMAS PARRAMATTA and RSNF AL-TAIF conducted a variety of coordinated activities during the four hour interaction. The transit was easily coordinated, and both ships reported that they worked together with ease,” he said.

The aim of these recent coordinated transits amongst coalition forces is to promote greater regional participation in maritime security in the Southern Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Gulf of Oman, as well as the Arabian Sea.

In describing this interaction, Commander Blackburn said, “It was a pleasure to work alongside RSNF AL-TAIF. There was a familiarity common to mariners that enabled our easy interaction and excellent outcomes to be achieved in ensuring the security of this ancient water way. We look forward to the opportunity to do the same again, and remain uplifted that our Saudi Arabian partners are helping us to all maintain the security in the region.”

HMAS PARRAMATTA departed Sydney on Sept. 26, 2011, and is currently undertaking her fourth deployment to the Middle East.  In the past PARRAMATTA has conducted maritime security operations in the Gulf region and the Horn of Africa, as well as counter-piracy and anti-smuggling operations in the Gulf of Aden; and supported counter-terrorism activities.

CMF is a multi-national task force which exists to create a lawful and stable maritime environment free from terrorism, smuggling and other illegal activities.  As the principal mission is to deter, disrupt and defeat such activities the continued promotion of stable and cooperative relationships with nations in the region is a key objective for member nation’s assets while supporting CTF 150 operations.

About Combined Maritime Forces

CMF is a unique multi-national naval coalition, dedicated to promoting security and prosperity across 3.2 million square miles of international waters in the Middle East. CMF’s main focus areas are defeating terrorism, preventing piracy, reducing illegal activities, and promoting a safe maritime environment.
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