20170617ran8504132_737Australia’s HMAS Newcastle was assigned to Operation MANITOU from 09 July 2017 in support of the multi-national Combined Maritime Forces. Newcastle will be predominately tasked to support Combined Task Force 150 for counter-terrorism and maritime security operations.

The Commanding Officer, Commander Mark Sirois, said it was extremely important for Australia to be a part of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, which conducts counter-terrorism and maritime security operations, CTF 151, which conducts counter piracy operations, and CTF 152, which conducts Persian Gulf maritime security operations.

“It’s about enhancing security for the local nations and security for Australia,” he said. “There are huge diplomatic benefits for maintaining safe sea lanes in the region and allowing commerce to safely proceed through the area. We are also stopping funding for terrorist organisations, which can directly reflect the day-to-day lives of normal Australians.

“The crew is ready to do the job – we’ve gone through a lot of hard yards, but they are motivated and extremely professional. They’re a bunch of ordinary Aussies who do amazing work.”