Last week the Pakistani frigate PNS Alamgir and the Australian frigate HMAS Newcastle conducted a simultaneous replenishment at sea with the USNS Kanawha. This was followed by an opportunity to practice close in manoeuvres and improve interoperability. Both vessels are operating in the Gulf of Aden in direct support to CTF 150 and its counter terrorism mission.
CTF 150 is currently focused on providing naval presence in the vicinity of the Bab Al Mandeb Strait to reassure the international maritime community after incidents involving merchant shipping earlier this year. Warships continue to patrol the area, conducting transits through the crucial maritime trade corridor and upholding the free flow of commerce and shipping.
Under a French lead, the staff of CTF 150 is the first combined French-UK command which operationalizes the French-UK naval co-operation under the Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF). This framework was initiated in 2010 under the Lancaster House Agreement between Paris and London. The staff also includes officers from Belgium, Italy and Australia, and exercises command over ships and aircraft from several CMF participating nations.