Commodore Darren Garnier, Royal Canadian Navy, Commander Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, visited the Seychelles from 27th to 31st March, 2019. This was his last regional engagement as Commander of CTF 150.
The visit to the Seychelles was two-fold. Firstly, to conduct Key Leadership Engagements with members of the Seychelles People’s Defence Force (SPDF) and the second to welcome the additional assets from the Canadian Armed Forces to the CTF 150 area of operations. The continued contribution of assets to CMF is extremely valuable in maintaining maritime security throughout the region, where illicit activities including the smuggling of illegal narcotics, is taking place.
During his visit the Commodore met Colonel Clifford Roseline, SPDF Chief of Defence Forces, Colonel Simon Dine, Commander of the Seychelles Coast Guard, Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Poupponeau, Commander of the Seychelles Air Force, and Lieutenant-Colonel Leslie Benoiton, Director of the National Information Sharing Coordination Center (NISCC).
Seychelles is an important Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) member. With a keen regional focus on all areas of the CMF mission including counter-terrorism and counter-piracy, they revealed that for the Seychelles the narcotics nexus to the funding of terrorist activity is a top priority for their Defence Forces. As an island nation, the Seychelles fully understands the critical role that missions, such as maritime surveillance, can play to their own, as well as the CMF’s broader maritime security mandate.
Commodore Garnier stated: “It was an honour to be in the Seychelles representing CMF and to meet with the Seychelles People’s Defence Force as we continue to strengthen our partnership. I would like to thank the SPDF for their superb hospitality, and continued cooperation with CMF in regional maritime security.”
The Commodore also visited Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Regina, accompanied by Naval Replenishment Unit (NRU) Asterix, and a Royal Canadian Air Force CP-140 Aurora as they arrived in the Seychelles on March 29.
HMCS Regina, along with its embarked CH-148 Cyclone helicopter, and NRU Asterix will work in concert with several other coalition ships to patrol the waters of the northern Arabian Sea and the east coast of Africa, and the CP-140 Aurora will be employed to conduct concurrent maritime surveillance missions. All of these efforts are in support of CTF 150’s mandate to counter terrorism ensuring maritime security by enabling the free-flow of international trade and commerce in some of the world’s busiest and most challenging waterways.
Commodore Garnier added: “Our combined Canadian-Australian CTF 150 Task Force welcomes the arrival of HMCS Regina, NRU Asterix, and the Royal Canadian Air Force to our area of operations. Our team is ready to lead the assets under our command in promoting stability in the region by deterring and denying terrorists use of the high seas from illicit activity that fund terrorism activities,”
Commodore Garnier and his Task Force change CTF 150 command to the Pakistan Navy on April 11, 2019. HMCS Regina will remain under CTF 150 command until early June, 2019.