The Commander of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 and Australian warship HMAS Melbourne, which is currently supporting Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) operations, have concluded a visit to the Seychelles.
On the eve of Australia Day, HMAS Melbourne, currently deployed to the Middle East and Indian Ocean region as part of CTF 150, played host to an official reception honouring the close maritime ties between Australia and the Seychelles.
Addressing the audience, guest speaker Mr Peter Sinon, Minister for Natural Resources and Industry of the Republic of Seychelles stressed the country’s ongoing commitment as a strategic partner in the Indian Ocean.
“I would like to reaffirm the deep commitment of Seychelles to working towards the building of a stronger partnership with Australia towards a global order that is marked by peace, security and equity.”
Citing Australia’s significant contribution to CMF, Minister Sinon acknowledged the efforts of HMAS Melbourne in the seizure and destruction of amphetamines worth approximately $15.2 million during three separate operations in the Arabian Sea in December 2013.
Also at the event was the Australian Navy officer presently in command of CTF 150. Commodore Daryl Bates, Royal Australia Navy, made the journey from CTF 150’s operational headquarters in Bahrain to meet the Chief of the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces, Brigadier Leopold Payet. The pair discussed opportunities for visiting CMF member navies to grow the capability of the Seychelles Coast Guard through partnered maritime exercises.
“As a member of the CMF, Seychelles have shown a genuine commitment to the promotion of security, stability and prosperity in the maritime environment,” Commodore Bates said.
“No matter how large or small the country, it is the collaborative efforts of many nations and maritime security agencies that will suppress those who wish to use sea lanes for illicit purposes.”
The CMF is a 30 nation naval partnership, based in Bahrain. CTF 150 is one of three task forces operated by the CMF. Its mission is to conduct maritime security operations in order to counter terrorist acts and related illegal activities, which terrorists use to fund or conceal their movements. Australia assumed command of CTF 150 in December 2013.