CCTF 152 Colonel Alaskar (left) with Captain Laurent Marchard de Gramont

French Navy Frigate ACONIT will be working for Combined Task Force 152 (CTF 152) whilst carrying out Maritime Security Operations in the Arabian Gulf. CTF 152 is one of three Task Forces that make up Combined Maritime Forces and is charged with ensuring maritime security and freedom of navigation in the Arabian Gulf.

Colonel Alaskar, Commander of CTF152, has discussed with Captain Laurent Machard de Gramont how the ship could best assist the Task Force in conducting patrols in the region, acting as a deterrent, and disrupting illegal activities that support terrorism.

France is a major contributor to the 31-nation CMF, providing personnel, ships and aircraft on a regular basis. Captain Geoffroy Roussel, French Senior National Representative and the CMF HQ Director of Plans, said: “Having the Aconit’s Commanding and Operations Officers fly in to meet directly with the CTF commanders is an excellent enabler to share understanding, ideas and procedures. This personal dialogue fosters efficient future operations and a closer collaboration between coalition partners.”

Part of the Task Force’s mission is for the ships to meet with local fishing dhows to reassure them of the coalition’s presence in the area. “Having ships from different Nations operating for the Task Force demonstrates to local mariners the commitment to the security of the region by all CMF’s members. Aconit is a very capable frigate and having spent four years studying at France’s Ecole Navale, I know how professional and dedicated the sailors of the French Navy are. ” Said Lt Cdr Ahmed Al Muslemani, the Kuwaiti Operations Officer at CTF 152 who conducted his Officer training with the French navy between 2004 and 2008.

CTF 150 also hosted Captain Marchard de Gramont to discuss FS Aconit’s period in support of CTF 150, during which she carried out several boardings. It was an opportunity to talk about integration procedures, intelligence dissemination, and the directives for maritime operations as a maritime force in the Gulf. Aconit is operating for CTF 150 whilst she is in their operating area in the wider Indian Ocean, continuing her commitment to CMF and the disruption of terrorism-related activities at sea.