Captain René-Jean Crignola, Commander, Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150), visited La Fayette class, French Frigate (FF) Surcouf, in order to meet Commanding Officer, Commander (Cdr) Thomas Fraïoli. The FF has been part of CTF-150 taking part in maritime security operations throughout the Gulf of Aden, Somalia Basin and Indian Ocean.
FF Surcouf operates side by side with the CTF-150 flagship French Ship (FS) Var, to conduct Counter-Terrorism operations and to fight against illicit activities which support international terrorist organizations. The next day, Surcouf led several combined exercises with the Djiboutian Navy, as part of CTF-150 regional engagement program.
Captain René-Jean Crignola was transferred by helicopter to FS Surcouf, where he was greeted by the Commanding Officer, Cdr Thomas Fraioli. Both officers discussed ongoing operations and had a chance to exchange their views on maritime security in the region. This meeting at sea also provided both ships with the opportunity to conduct several night time helicopter manoeuvres including airlifting and ship control approaches.
The following day, the French Frigate greeted a boarding team from the Djiboutian Navy, in order to conduct combined boarding training. As the French boarding team before, the Djiboutian team had previously followed NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) procedures, which eased the coordination and interoperability between the two teams. This type of training is part of the CTF-150 regional engagement program, the goal of which is to foster exchanges between CTF-150 and regional partners to build on security throughout the region. This area is spread over 4.4 millions square kilometers – more than eight times the area of the French territory – in the North of the Indian Ocean, including Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea and Red Sea.
CTF-150 is a multinational maritime task force the command of which is rotated between participatory nations on a four to six month basis. It is one of the three task forces operated by Combined Maritime Forces, with CTF-151, responsible for counter-piracy and CTF-152, responsible for security and cooperation in the Gulf. CTF 150’s mandate is about promoting the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment by countering terrorist acts and related illegal activities, which terrorists use to fund their operations or conceal their movements.