Category Archives: CMF HQ

The Japanese warship Ariake will be heading home after completing five months of counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. Led by Commander Naritaka Ezawa, JS Ariake, a Murasame Class Destroyer, has conducted safeguarding duties for hundreds of merchant ships on their transit through the region. Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 Commander, Commodore Abdul Munib SI (M) has offered special thanks to the Ariake for her support to the Task Force’s important mission. During her time in support of CTF-150, JS Ariake participated in additional focused operations to deter piracy activities. The Ariake crew has also engaged in several Passage Exercises, demonstrating their ability to operate alongside warships from other nations.  The ability to operate together, despite a potential language barrier, is key to the success of CTF-151 in combating piracy. The more warships use a common set of standard operating procedures, the greater the flexibility provided at the command…

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Egypt has become the 34th member of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), April 12. CMF is an enduring multinational coalition committed to upholding the International Rules Based Order by countering illicit non-state actors on the high seas and promoting security, stability and prosperity. Vice Adm. Samuel Paparo, commander of U.S. Naval Forces, U.S. 5th Fleet and CMF, welcomes Egypt’s membership while visiting Alexandria. “Today is a historic moment as Egypt enters into our enduring coalition,’ said Paparo. “Egypt is an important partner in ensuring stability in the region, and we are honored to welcome Egypt’s partnership in our mission focused on making the region and world a safer place.” CMF’s area of operations encompasses some of the world’s most important shipping lanes with more than 3 million square miles of international waters, including the key chokepoints of the Suez Canal, Bab al Mandeb and Straits of Hormuz. “Egypt brings a…

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Pakistan’s Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi visited Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) headquarters in Bahrain, March 15. During the visit he met with Commodore Abdul Munib SI (M), the Pakistan Navy Commander of CTF-151, and Royal Navy Commodore Ed Ahlgren, deputy commander of CMF, to discuss Pakistan’s contribution to the enduring CMF partnership, and the ongoing success in deterring piracy from the Gulf of Aden and the Gulf of Oman. In the past year, there have been no successful piracy attempts on merchant vessels in the CTF-151 area of operations; no mean feat given the vast area of water covered. “CMF works so well because of the relationship between strategic partners, regional forces and international organizations to deliver maritime security operations and to build maritime security across the region,” said Ahlgren. “This in turn will benefit the overall commercial and military shipping industry by helping to safeguard…

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Royal Navy frigate HMS Montrose has struck for a third time in less than five weeks. In an operation lasting 10 hours, the Montrose intercepted over 6100 lbs (2800 kg) of hashish and 110 lbs (50 kg) of heroin in the Arabian Sea, March 12, 2021. The boarding team from the ship, operating in direct support of CMF’s Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) seized the drugs – with a combined estimated wholesale value of over $4.5 million – following searches of suspicious vessels whilst undertaking a counter-narcotics patrol. This latest successful interdiction has further deprived criminal and terrorist networks of their ability to finance their operations through the transport and sale of illicit cargo.  HMS Montrose Commanding Officer, Commander Ollie Hucker said; “It is purely coincidental that this operational success falls on my last day at sea in Command. Be it the first day or the last day, these results…

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Two submariners currently serving as part of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) Combined Task Force 150 discovered an unusual connection with CMF’s Deputy Commander when they realized they had served on the very same submarine, but several years apart. Lt(N) Devin Matthews and PO1 Patrick Cooper-Mayer of the Royal Canadian Navy, were posted to the HMCS Windsor in 2005, where both sailors started their training and were soon awarded their dolphins, the coveted symbol of the submarine service. But HMCS Windsor was not always a Canadian submarine. In 1998, Canada purchased four Upholder Class diesel-electric submarines from the Royal Navy. One of these, HMS Unicorn, was where the now-Deputy Commander of Combined Maritime Forces, Commodore Ed Ahlgren, served and qualified as a submariner in the early 90s. Having come across Cmdre Ahlgren’s biography, both Matthews and Cooper-Mayer realized that they had a collective naval link with their Royal Navy colleague.…

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Master Chief Petty Officer (MCPO) Ottaviano ‘Otto’ Cortellessa joined the Italian Marina Militare in April 1989 and is currently serving as a Senior Watchkeeper with CMF. A wide-ranging career has seen Otto working all over the world, including stints in Belgium with NATO, in Egypt, back home in Italy and now here in Bahrain, and that’s just the past ten years. As a specialist in N6 (communications), Otto’s responsible for maintaining an efficient and accurate flow of information to the Senior Watch Officers and Battle Watch Captains; a 24/7 requirement that’s crucial to the operational success of CMF. Speaking about his deployment so far, he said; “Here I work in a completely different job than my Italian background. [CMF] is one of the most diverse military working environments, with many different cultures and ways of life. “Most interesting is to be able to experience how other nations work and how…

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CTF-151 Commander Commodore (Cdre) Abdul Munib SI (M) recently held a video teleconference with the Commander of EUNAVFOR’s Task Force-465 (TF-465), Commodore Diogo Arroteia. While Cdre Munib was at CMF HQ in Bahrain, Cdre Arroteia was operating from the Spanish frigate Reina Sofía, as they actively conduct counter-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia. Cdre Munib thanked Cdre Arroteia for his continuous support in providing TF-465 ships and maritime patrol aircraft; “We have been supporting each other well out at sea to maintain our force flow and respond to maritime security events. We need to maintain this coordination in the future as well.” “Together, we need to keep our guard up for any suspicious activity out at sea and relay information to all stakeholders; the area of operations is big, and working in collaboration is key to conducting effective patrols independently,” he added. After assuming command of the CTF-151 on…

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Deputy Command of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) has been formally handed-over by Commodore Dean Bassett to his successor Commodore Ed Ahlgren OBE, in a short ceremony at CMF headquarters in Bahrain, Feb. 10. Commodore Bassett has served as Deputy Commander since June 2019. During his time in Bahrain, he has seen multiple successive anti-narcotics operations, keeping hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of illegal contraband off the streets and disrupting terrorist groups’ financing. Counter-piracy efforts in the CMF Area of Operations continue to provide vital security and reassurance to merchant shipping, and capacity-building efforts in the region continue to thrive. Speaking ahead of the ceremony, Cdre Bassett said; “Our nations have nurtured a shared vision of maritime security, and one of the biggest successes has been learning from each other. Together, we have kept significant amounts of harmful narcotics off the streets, disrupting terrorist groups’ financing and we’ve continued…

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Rear Admiral Sulieman Al Faqeeh of the Royal Saudi Naval Forces has formally handed-over command of Combined Maritime Forces’ (CMF) Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 to Commodore Dan Charlebois of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), in a special ceremony held at the US Navy’s NAVCENT headquarters in Bahrain, Jan. 27, 2021. This concludes Saudi Arabia’s second command of CTF-150, after taking over from the French Marine Nationale in August 2020. Formed in 2002, CTF-150 is a maritime defence force that conducts Maritime Security Operations outside the Arabian Gulf. Primarily dedicated to the deterrence, disruption and suppression of trafficking and other illicit maritime activity, CTF-150 also engages with regional and other partners to strengthen relevant capabilities in the region. “These seizures have also helped international law enforcement agencies to develop a better understanding of current shifts in the drugs trade,” said Al Faqeeh at the ceremony. “Most importantly, these seizures have…

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The Senior Enlisted members of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) had the pleasure of hosting the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chiefs of Staff Committee (SEAC) from the United Kingdom, WO1 Glenn Haughton. The event, which was attended by Senior Enlisted Leaders from many different nations and service organizations including Navy, Coast Guard, Army, Air Force, Marines, and Border Guard personnel, was an opportunity for multinational partners to hear a great message from a leader with over 30 years of service who has operated at the highest levels of the Senior Enlisted Continuum. Previously the first appointed British Army Sergeant Major – the Army’s highest enlisted position – he was appointed by the Chiefs of Staff Committee as the first SEAC, becoming the highest ranking enlisted member in the UK’s Armed Forces. WO1 Haughton described his definition of leadership as “caring for your people”, and used this as the basis…

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