French and Australian units from CTF-150 meet at sea in the Arabian Sea

In mid-July, while patrolling off the coast of Oman, Her Majesty Australian Ship (HMAS) Newcastle and French Ship (FS) Var met at sea to lead several interactions. Both units were operating in the frame of Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) missions, to fight against terrorism and related illicit activities inside the Indian Ocean. The ships Commanding Officer’s organised a cross deck and a tour between the two platforms to foster coalition relations. Newcastle’s Commanding Officer, CMDR Dominic MacNamara, along with eight members of ship’s company visited Surcouf while Newcastle hosted Surcouf’s Executive Officer and eight French officers and sailors.

Commanding Officer HMAS Newcastle, Commander Dominic MacNamara, RAN, presents the ship's plaque to Commanding Officer of the FS Sarcouf, Commander Guillaume Garnoix (left), as part of a visit to the French Frigate in the Gulf of Oman. HMAS Newcastle is tasked to carry out maritime security patrols in the Indian Ocean in support of Operation MANITOU. *** Local Caption *** HMAS Newcastle is deployed in the Middle East Region on Operation MANITOU, Australia’s contribution to the US-led Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). The CMF undertakes patrols in the broader northwest Indian Ocean to both combat piracy and to intercept the trafficking of drugs that help fund international terrorism. The CMF also encourages regional cooperation to create a safer maritime environment. HMAS Newcastle is on her fifth deployment to the Middle East Region as is the 60th rotation of a RAN vessel since the first Gulf War in 1990.

Commanding Officer HMAS Newcastle, Commander Dominic MacNamara, RAN, presents the ship’s plaque to Commanding Officer of the FS Sarcouf, Commander Guillaume Garnoix (left), as part of a visit to the French Frigate in the Gulf of Oman.


Newcastle’s CO, CMDR MacNamara, spoke of the benefit’s to be gained from occasions such as these.“These engagements further support Newcastle’s and the Royal Australian Navy’s relations abroad, especially considering our close ties with the French Navy operating as part of the Combined Maritime Forces”, he said. The lunch also provided good face-to-face time for the two Commanding Officers to discuss CTF-150 operations in the region in depth.

Lieutenant Ethan Wiseman takes range readings to the French Frigate, FS Sarcouf, as the two ships complete their personnel exchange visit in the Gulf of Oman. HMAS Newcastle is tasked to carry out maritime security patrols in the Indian Ocean in support of Operation MANITOU. *** Local Caption *** HMAS Newcastle is deployed in the Middle East Region on Operation MANITOU, Australia’s contribution to the US-led Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). The CMF undertakes patrols in the broader northwest Indian Ocean to both combat piracy and to intercept the trafficking of drugs that help fund international terrorism. The CMF also encourages regional cooperation to create a safer maritime environment. HMAS Newcastle is on her fifth deployment to the Middle East Region as is the 60th rotation of a RAN vessel since the first Gulf War in 1990.

Lieutenant Ethan Wiseman takes range readings to the French Frigate, FS Sarcouf, as the two ships complete their personnel exchange visit in the Gulf of Oman.

All members of the Newcastle contingent were treated to an extensive tour of the French Frigate, LEUT Watkin stating that “I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet other members of the coalition task group and discuss the different experiences within the operation.”

Officers from the French Frigate, FS Sarcouf, are entertained by members of HMAS Newcastle's Wardroom from left; Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Anita Nemarich, Lieutenant (LEUT) Jeremy Baumgarten and LEUT Daile Coey-Braddon as part of a crew exchange visit between the two ships in the Gulf of Oman. HMAS Newcastle is tasked to carry out maritime security patrols in the Indian Ocean in support of Operation MANITOU. *** Local Caption *** HMAS Newcastle is deployed in the Middle East Region on Operation MANITOU, Australia’s contribution to the US-led Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). The CMF undertakes patrols in the broader northwest Indian Ocean to both combat piracy and to intercept the trafficking of drugs that help fund international terrorism. The CMF also encourages regional cooperation to create a safer maritime environment. HMAS Newcastle is on her fifth deployment to the Middle East Region as is the 60th rotation of a RAN vessel since the first Gulf War in 1990.

Officers from the French Frigate, FS Sarcouf, are entertained by members of HMAS Newcastle’s Wardroom from left; Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Anita Nemarich, Lieutenant (LEUT) Jeremy Baumgarten and LEUT Daile Coey-Braddon as part of a crew exchange visit between the two ships in the Gulf of Oman.

The “Chippy”, CPOMT Graeme Louk, did not take long to find the keel of the ship as he inspected its engineering spaces, while Assistant Marine Engineer Officer, LEUT Joseph McCullagh, explored Surcouf’s Damage Control Central; discussing Damage Control processes and procedures with the Damage Control Officer and Deputy Marine Engineer Officer. LCDR Anita Nemarich said that “it was a very successful visit, which was a great experience for both crews.”

Sub Lieutenant Sam Mason, on exchange from the Royal New Zealand Navy, gives conning orders to the helmsman as HMAS Newcastle maintains station with the French Frigate, FS Sarcouf, as part of a crew exchange visit between the two ships in the Gulf of Oman. HMAS Newcastle is tasked to carry out maritime security patrols in the Indian Ocean in support of Operation MANITOU. *** Local Caption *** HMAS Newcastle is deployed in the Middle East Region on Operation MANITOU, Australia’s contribution to the US-led Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). The CMF undertakes patrols in the broader northwest Indian Ocean to both combat piracy and to intercept the trafficking of drugs that help fund international terrorism. The CMF also encourages regional cooperation to create a safer maritime environment. HMAS Newcastle is on her fifth deployment to the Middle East Region as is the 60th rotation of a RAN vessel since the first Gulf War in 1990.

Sub Lieutenant Sam Mason, on exchange from the Royal New Zealand Navy, gives conning orders to the helmsman as HMAS Newcastle maintains station with the French Frigate, FS Sarcouf, as part of a crew exchange visit between the two ships in the Gulf of Oman.

CTF-150 is one of three naval task forces operated by CMF, which is a multinational naval partnership of 30 nations. CTF 150’s principal mission is to suppress the exploitation of the maritime environment by those who keep up links with terrorist organizations. CTF 150 is committed to building maritime counter-terrorism capability in regional navies and to promoting regional security and stability. Its vessels also assist mariners in distress and other humanitarian work as required.

Personnel from the French Frigate, FS Sarcouf, come alongside HMAS Newcastle as part of a crew exchange visit between the two ships in the Gulf of Oman. HMAS Newcastle is tasked to carry out maritime security patrols in the Indian Ocean in support of Operation MANITOU. *** Local Caption *** HMAS Newcastle is deployed in the Middle East Region on Operation MANITOU, Australia’s contribution to the US-led Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). The CMF undertakes patrols in the broader northwest Indian Ocean to both combat piracy and to intercept the trafficking of drugs that help fund international terrorism. The CMF also encourages regional cooperation to create a safer maritime environment. HMAS Newcastle is on her fifth deployment to the Middle East Region as is the 60th rotation of a RAN vessel since the first Gulf War in 1990.

Personnel from the French Frigate, FS Sarcouf, come alongside HMAS Newcastle as part of a crew exchange visit between the two ships in the Gulf of Oman.

About Combined Maritime Forces

CMF is a unique multi-national collective of like-minded nations, dedicated to promoting security and free flow of commerce across 3.2 million square miles of international waters in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Somali Basin, the Indian Ocean and the Gulf. CMF’s main focus areas are disrupting terrorism, preventing piracy, reducing illegal activities, and promoting a safe maritime environment for all.
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