The Pakistan Navy has taken command of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) after conducting a handover ceremony with the Royal Navy. CTF 150’s principal mission is to disrupt terrorist organisations and their unlawful activities by restricting freedom of manoeuvre in the maritime domain.
Commodore Bilal Abdul Nasir of the Pakistan Navy assumed command of CTF150 from Commodore Guy Robinson of the Royal Navy on 4 August 2016 in a ceremony held at the CMF headquarters in Bahrain. Commodore Nasir will lead a team comprising personnel from the Pakistan Navy.
CTF150 has been combating terrorism by tackling the narcotics and weapons trafficking at sea that funds terrorist activities. Its vessels also assist mariners in distress and undertake other humanitarian work as required. For the last four months, under the command of the Royal Navy, CTF 150 has been working to deter terrorists and smugglers from using the seas as an avenue to finance crime and terrorist activity.
Passing over command, Commodore Robinson said: “I have had a hugely rewarding time commanding CTF 150 and am very grateful for the contributions from many nations that have made a successful command possible. CTF150 plays an important role in maintaining security for the numerous mariners that go about their lawful business in this region; however, those that wish to exploit the sea for illegal activity should be in no doubt that CMF can, and will, act to stop them. Noting the support that the Pakistan Navy has provided to me during my tenure, I have no doubt that Commodore Nasir and his team will make a significant contribution to the CMF mission.”
On assuming command, Commodore Nasir said it was a privilege to lead CTF 150. He acknowledged the successes of Commodore Robinson’s team, both at sea and in their active engagement with regional Navies.
Commodore Nasir said: “I would like to congratulate Commodore Robinson over a very successful time in charge of CTF 150. I’m sure Commodore Robinson and his team will go home with a real sense of pride about what they have achieved.”
He added: “It is an honour for me to take over CTF 150. The Pakistan-led CTF 150 will continue to combat terrorists and illegal activities. This area is crucial for maritime trade and it would be economically crippling if this area was not protected. One of my main aims is to promote global maritime co-operation in the area.’’