The United States guided-missile destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) has joined with multi-national Combined Maritime Force (CMF) to support Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150).
CTF 150’s mission is to promote maritime security, counter terrorist acts and related illegal activities, which terrorists use to fund or conceal their movements. Its area of operations spans over two million square miles, covering the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman.
“The capacity to maintain security and the lines of communications and trade are much greater with a wide international force,” said Cmdr. Michael E. Hutchens, commanding officer of the guided-missile destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81). “We look forward to adding the capabilities of this ship and its highly trained crew to CTF 150 to help maintain maritime security in the waters here.”
While supporting CTF 150, Churchill may be called on to conduct a range of missions to include approach and assist visits (AAVs), visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS), and interdiction patrols (IPATS).
Churchill sailors are looking forward to supporting maritime security.
“We’re trained and we’re ready. Maritime security operations are the main mission why we’re here, and we’re looking forward to enhancing the region’s safety,” said Cryptologic Technician (Maintenance) 2nd Class (SW) Jeffrey K. Reyes, a member of Churchill’s VBSS team. “We’ve trained with other VBSS teams before, so we’re ready to cooperate with coalition forces out here and keep commercial shipping lanes safe and secure.”
Churchill is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.