Commodore Steve Moorhouse OBE Royal Navy, Commander Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150), has completed a visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to discuss regional partnerships in Riyadh and subsequently to visit Jeddah on the occasion of HMS Argyll making a port visit there.
CTF 150, as part of the 32-nation Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), is responsible for disrupting the illicit activities of terrorist organisations in the Western Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. This includes preventing the illegal transportation of personnel, weapons, charcoal and narcotics. These operations starve such organisations of the financial means necessary to conduct their illegal activities.
Rear Admiral Al Faleh, Deputy Fleet Commander, Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF) Western Fleet, prepares to take the salute at a ceremonial sunset held onboard HMS Argyll, during the British warship’s recent visit to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Commodore Moorhouse started his visit to Saudi Arabia by visiting Riyadh. Here he gave a presentation on the work of CMF and, in particular, how CMF cooperates with regional partners like the European Union’s Naval Force Somalia and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The presentation took place at the Evacuation and Humanitarian Operations Centre (EHOC) within the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Defence and the audience included the EHOC Commander, Major General Abdullah Al Hobabi, as well as members of the Royal Saudi Naval Forces and the Saudi Coast Guard.
The presentation was well received, with Major General Al Hobabi keen that the Kingdom strengthen information sharing with CMF. Commodore Moorhouse said “With such a larger area of operations to cover, mutually supporting regional partnerships are key to ensuring that CMF can achieve its objectives in both the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean”.
Commodore Steve Moorhouse OBE Royal Navy, Commander CTF150, presents a gift to Major General Abdullah Al Hobabi, Commander of the Evacuation and Humanitarian Operations Centre, during a visit there in Riyadh.
Commodore Moorhouse then moved to Jeddah, where his visit coincided with that of a British Royal Navy warship. HMS Argyll, a Type 23 Frigate, is currently on a 9-month deployment that will take her to the Far East. En route, she will be spending some time in support of CTF 150 in the Indian Ocean. Commodore Moorhouse said: “HMS Argyll, with one of the Royal Navy’s new Wildcat helicopters embarked, is a welcome asset to me as Commander CTF 150, as CMF seeks to provide assurance to commercial shipping and to ensure that the high seas remain the preserve of legitimate seafarers”.
Commodore Moorhouse later attended an evening reception held onboard HMS Argyll. Also present were attendees from the Royal Saudi Naval Forces, including Rear Admiral Al Faleh (Deputy Fleet Commander, Western Fleet) and Commodore Hassan (incoming Saudi Commander of CTF 150). Rear Admiral Al Faleh took the salute at a ceremonial sunset conducted onboard.
The following day Commodore Moorhouse conducted a call with Rear Admiral Al Faleh at the Western Fleet Headquarters in Jeddah. They discussed the upcoming assumption of command of CTF 150 in August 2018, with Western Fleet looking forward to deepening its relationship with CMF. Commodore Moorhouse said: “Saudi Arabia is a key partner within CMF and their continued support, including assuming command of CTF 150 for the first time, is much welcomed”.