The Royal Australian Navy has handed over command of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) Combined Task Force 150 to the Royal Navy at a formal change of command ceremony held in Bahrain on 10 April 2014.
Commodore Jeremy Blunden Royal Navy assumed command of CTF 150 from Commodore Daryl W. Bates Royal Australian Navy. This completed the Royal Australian Navy’s fifth command of CT 150 and commences the seventh time the Royal Navy has assumed command.
The handover ceremony was overseen by Vice Admiral John Miller, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, Commander, U.S. FIFTH Fleet, Commander, Combined Maritime Forces who reviewed CTF 150’s recent successes.
“CTF 150 has been very successful in interdicting illicit cargos: three hash seizures for a total 5,610 kilos, five heroin seizures for a total 1,494 kilos and three amphetamine seizures of 24 kilos. With each interdiction, we have been able to influence the adversary’s behaviour. They know we are there, and that the stakes are raised due to the presence of this combined task force,” stated Miller.
He added: “CTF 150 has also strengthened the CMF organisation well into the future through a series of rich engagement activities. Commodore Bates has raised the profile of CMF through significant engagement with the United Nations and regional nations.”
Commodore Bates highlighted the skill and professionalism of his team and the multinational units under his command: “It has been a privilege and a pleasure to work with so many nations committed to improving maritime security and countering terrorism. CMF is a very impressive organisation that achieves great things,” said Bates.
Acknowledging the accomplishments of Commodore Bates and his team, Commodore Blunden said: “In addition to their successes at sea, they have expanded our understanding of the frameworks within which we operate and helped moved CTF 150 forward.”
He added: “More than at any time, there is an opportunity for CTF 150 to add real value in achieving maritime security in the region. My team stands ready for the task. It is well trained, well supported and eager to get on with the job. We look forward to working closely with CMF staff and all of our partners to make this a reality.”