Commander of Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, Commodore Abdul Munib SI (M) visited the Chief of Staff of the Sultan’s Armed Forces, Vice Admiral Abdullah Bin Khamis Al Raisi, and the Commander of the Royal Navy of Oman, Rear Admiral Saif Bin Nassir Al Rahbi in Oman. 

The meetings, held on 8th April under strict COVID guidelines, included talks around future capacity building and counter-piracy operations in and around the Gulf of Aden.  All parties were keen to provide complete support for CMF operations.

Commander of CTF-151, Commodore Abdul Munib (L) and the Commander of Royal Navy of Oman, Rear Admiral Saif Bin Nassir Al Rahbi (R) discuss mutual interests, maritime security and enhancing cooperation and collaboration between CMF and the Royal Navy of Oman. (Photo: Combined Task Force 151).

During their visit, RAdm Al Rahbi praised Cdre Munib on his team’s successful conduct of their recent Focused Operation (FO) Tahaffuz, which saw assets from nine nations coming together to deter piracy and reassure the maritime community. “Participation of RNOV Khassab in Tahaffuz has helped us in refining new tactics and procedures, and we intend to continue our mutually-beneficial support to CMF operations,” said RAdm Al Rahbi. Focused Operations like this one are a core component of CTF-151 activity, and are an enduring example of CMF’s commitment to maintain order at sea.

Commander of CTF-151, Cdre Abdul Munib (Center) and the Omani Chief of Staff, Sultan’s Armed Forces VAdm Abdullah Bin Khamis Al Raisi (R) exchange souvenirs (Photo: Combined Task Force 151).

“I thank you for participation of your ship in FO Tahaffuz. This interaction gave us an opportunity to contribute to RNO capacity building during counter piracy operations. We can see a clear improvement in our efforts to streamline the communication procedures between RNO ships and CMF HQ”, said Cdre Munib. “We encourage the RNO to continue to participate in CMF operations with surface assets, especially within Oman’s Exclusive Economic Zone”, he added.

Following their meeting, Munib received a tour of the Oman Maritime Security Center (MSC). The MSC is responsible for command and control of maritime security operations in the Omani maritime zone, fighting organized crime, illegal trading, piracy, maritime terrorism, smuggling, providing protection of fisheries and Search and Rescue support. MSC also shares data with a number of international maritime security agencies monitoring threats to maritime security. 

Commander of CTF-151, Cdre Abdul Munib (Center) and his staff receive a brief from Maritime Security Center officials on its roles and tasks in maritime security operations, search and rescue, and maritime environment protection. (Photo: Combined Task Force 151).

“I convey my appreciation, on behalf of Vice Admiral Sam Paparo, Commander CMF, for all the support given by MSC during CMF operations. By working together, we have managed to suppress piracy and keep the waters safe for all legitimate mariners,” said Cdre Munib. “We need to ensure timely exchange of intelligence to reduce the space of maneuver for illicit actors and pirates in the maritime domain. Through this information sharing, we also update the pattern of life data at CMF, which allows us to deploy our assets in the right place in a timely manner”, he added.

Earlier in the same day, Munib held a separate visit with the Director General of the Royal Oman Police Coast Guard (ROP-CG). Brigadier General (Engineer) Ali Bin Saif Al Muqbali discussed capacity building, legal finish and information sharing at length.

Commander of CTF-151, Cdre Abdul Munib (L) and Director General Royal Oman Police Coast Guard, Brig. Gen. Ali Bin Saif Al Muqbali exchange gifts. (Photo: Combined Task Force 151).

(L to R:) Director General Royal Oman Police Coast Guard, Brig. Gen. Ali Bin Saif Al Muqbali, Commander CTF-151 Cdre Abdul Munib, Pakistan Defense Attaché Capt. Kashif, visit the Royal Oman Police Coast Guard HQ. (Photo: Combined Task Force 151).

Though not a CMF member nation, Oman offers a huge amount of assistance to CMF by providing basing and logistic facilities to ships at Duqm, Salalah and Muscat, as well as overflight for aircraft. Oman’s geographical position gives the nation a great understanding of maritime security issues in the Arabian Gulf, through the Straits of Hormuz and into the Indian Ocean.