Commodore Darren Garnier, Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), Commander of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, visited the Royal Oman Navy and Royal Oman Police Coast Guard as part of a Key Leadership Engagement (KLE) on 30 Dec 18.
This was Commodore Garnier’s first official visit outside Bahrain since taking command of CTF 150 in early December, and as such highlights the importance of this country to the coalition. The purpose of the visit was twofold: to build and strengthen naval relationships with Oman, as well as to discuss Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) and CTF 150 regional initiatives in maritime security.
The engagement started with a visit to meet the Commander of the Royal Oman Police Coast Guard, Staff Colonel Ali Saif Khalfan Al Muqbali. This was followed by a visit with the Deputy Fleet Commander of the Royal Oman Navy, Commodore Absullah Alselemy at the Royal Oman Navy Headquarters.
Commodore Garnier, RCN said: “This was a great opportunity to learn more about each other and discuss items of mutual interest. Maritime security is a common goal shared by nations around the world. Deterring and denying terrorists the use of the seas as a venue for illicit activities in the Middle East and around the world is a team effort, as no single state can shoulder this burden alone.”
The visit included a tour of the Oman Maritime Security Centre. This is a recently opened, state of the art facility which highlights Oman’s increasing commitment to regional security.
Commodore Garnier, RCN added: “We look forward to further maritime cooperation and capacity building opportunities with Oman and their Maritime Security Centre to enhance interoperability and promote maritime security and stability in the region. We look forward to working with Oman in the future.”
While in Oman, Commodore Garnier also visited the Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Ballarat, who was visiting Muscat. HMAS Ballarat is currently operating under CTF 150 command, conducting counter-terrorism and maritime security operations in the northern Arabian Sea. Commodore Garnier thanked the Ship’s Company, and Commander Paul Johnson, the Commanding Officer of HMAS Ballarat, for all their hard work.
CTF 150 is under Canadian Armed Forces command and is supported by personnel of the Royal Australian Navy, from December 2018 until April 2019.