Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) started the New Year with an intensification of its regular maritime security and counter-terrorism operations across the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.
Maritime security and counter-terrorism operations aim to deter and disrupt terrorist organisations from making illicit uses the seas to conceal their movements or generate funding.
CMF warships and aircraft from Australia, France, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States are contributing to this focused operation by patrolling the maritime domain to collect information on a variety of local traffic, building positive relations with local fishermen, and helping to ensure security, safety and freedom of movement for commercial shipping in international waters.
Law Enforcement Agencies from the United States and the United Kingdom will also take part in the international effort, providing agents onboard warships and in the headquarters ashore in order to improve interoperability between navies and these agencies.
Commodore Brian Santarpia from the Royal Canadian Navy is the Commander of CTF-150. He said:
“Combined Maritime Forces ships involved in maritime security and counter-terrorism operations were hugely successful in 2014. We denied international terrorist networks millions of dollars from illegal trafficking by seizing and destroying around 21,500kg of different illicit narcotics. We also assisted in rescuing numerous fellow mariners from the dangers of the seas and promoted cooperation and coordination between regional maritime security agencies through leadership engagements, conferences and visits. With the renewed support of the 30 CMF contributing nations this year, we are set to continue this good work throughout 2015.”
CTF-150’s mandate is to promote a lawful and stable maritime environment free from terrorism, trafficking and other illegal activities across an area of two million square miles, covering the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman. Canada is currently commanding CTF-150 with a combined Canadian and Australian staff.