In a first for the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), the Commander of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 visited counterparts in Mozambique as part of an extensive program to engage with key regional leaders.
Commodore Daryl Bates, Royal Australian Navy, travelled to Maputo for a meeting with the Commander of the Mozambique Navy, Rear Admiral Lazaro Henrique Lopes Menete.
Commodore Bates said that the meeting with the Commander of the Navy presented an excellent opportunity to extend maritime security discussions south along the East African seaboard:
“This has proven to be a very worthwhile visit. Mozambique has indicated their resolve in the fight against narcotics smuggling operations, and we have laid the foundations for further cooperation and the potential to exchange information to mutual benefit,” he said.
He added: “Mozambique is a country with an extensive coastline and the Mozambique Navy is clearly determined that those who wish to use the maritime environment as a means to transport drugs or other illicit materials are stopped in their tracks.
“CTF 150 cannot achieve its mission without the will and support of regional states, and I am optimistic that through ongoing dialogue with Mozambique, we can work to achieve an increasingly secure maritime environment.”
While in Mozambique, Commodore Bates also took the opportunity to meet a range of other authorities including the Chief Operating Officer of Port Maputo, Mr Gerhard Botha. These discussions resulted in an exchange of information which acknowledged that achieving a secure maritime environment requires cooperation across many agencies.
The CTF 150 command element is currently staffed by a team of 25 personnel from the Royal Australian Navy. Its principal mission is to maintain maritime security and deter, disrupt and defeat attempts by international terrorist organisations to use the maritime environment as a venue for an attack or as a means to transport personnel, weapons or other materials.
CTF 150 is one of three task forces commanded by CMF, a multinational naval partnership of 30 nations, which exists to promote security, stability and prosperity across approximately 2.5 million square miles of international waters, which encompass some of the world’s most important shipping lanes.