In June, Commander, Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, Commodore Muhammad Ihsan Qadir SI (M) along with the CTF 151 Chief of Staff, Captain Khalid Pervez, called on Captain Amor Humaid Hamood Al Zakwani, the Southern Naval Area Commander for the Royal Navy of Oman. The meeting took place at the Royal Navy of Oman’s Southern Naval Area Headquarters, which is located in the port city of Salalah. CTF 151 was in Salalah for a brief port visit after conducting counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.
The Commodore and Captain Al Zakwani discussed the current state of piracy and how the Royal Oman Navy and the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF)—the multinational coalition that controls CTF 151 and other maritime task forces throughout the region—can work together to deter and defeat piracy. Although Oman is not a participating member in CMF, the country provides valuable support to CMF members during their operations.
During the meeting the Commodore and Captain Al Zakwani discussed the current piracy situation in the Gulf of Aden and the surrounding area and how the efforts of the international community have helped to contain the problem. Despite the recent decline in pirate activity, both naval commanders agreed that the problem was not solved. In order to remove piracy from the region, they agreed that the government in Somalia would have to continue to make progress. Once more stability is brought to Somalia, the government can focus on rooting out the causes of piracy onshore.
Commodore Qadir was very pleased with the meeting and hoped that it would lead to further involvement between CMF and Oman. Following the meeting he stated, “The international effort to fight piracy is absolutely essential to ensuring that we do not lose the ground that we have gained over the past few years. The Royal Navy of Oman has provided CTF 151 with a great deal of support over the years. In the future, I hope that Oman’s involvement in CMF operations grows and we continue to build on the solid foundation we have established.”