Category Archives: Maritime Security

MANAMA, Bahrain–Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, Commander of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, and U.S. 5th Fleet, praised CMF for “making the region safer and more prosperous” during the 2021 Maritime Security Conference, July 14.  The annual conference was held at CMF headquarters in Bahrain and brought together representatives from CMF’s 34 member nations to discuss the year’s accomplishments in promoting lasting regional maritime security and future opportunities and challenges. “This gathering is such a tremendous opportunity for the members of Combined Maritime Forces to strengthen our partnerships – and in the process continue to make the region safer and more prosperous,” said Cooper. “It’s a privilege to be part of such a vital and unified group.” CMF leads international task forces that counter piracy, protect freedom of navigation from non-state actors, and disrupts the shipment of drugs and illegal arms. For example, in the past year,…

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French Marine Nationale ship FS Languedoc, assigned to Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, seized 902 lbs (409 kg) of heroin worth over $4.3 million dollars during a maritime counter-narcotics operation, June 6.  Within twenty-four hours of entering the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) area of operations, the French frigate identified a potential smuggler and began boarding procedures to identify and seize the illegal drugs, ensuring millions of dollars in proceeds were kept out of the hands of terrorist organizations and other groups who would have used this money to bring harm to others.   “The counter-narcotics operation we conducted on June 6 went very smoothly. The crew’s adaptability, and the support we had from CTF-150, was put to good use to conduct this operation effectively, despite the darkness and rough seas,” said Captain Yves Le Goff, commanding officer of FS Languedoc. “We are proud to have contributed to the fight against illicit…

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Combined Maritime Forces’ counter-piracy task force commander, Commodore Abdul Munib SI (M), and the commander of Pakistan’s Navy flotilla in the region, Commodore Khan Muhamad Asif SI (M) visited the U.S. Coast Guard Patrol Force Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA) squadron training facility in Bahrain. The Commodores and their teams, including the Commanding Officers of Pakistan ships PNS Alamgir and PNS Azmat received a briefing from PATFORSWA Commanding Officer Captain Willie L. Carmichael before touring the engineering warehouse and the Maritime Engagement Team facility.  The tour included the unique ‘Ship in a Box’ – a 1:1-scale mockup of a dhow inside an environmentally-controlled facility, used to train ships’ boarding teams on Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) procedures. The facility also contains mock up containers of a merchant vessel on which similar procedures are practiced. “This facility provides an excellent opportunity for CMF member nations to train their crew for Maritime Security…

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After just over four months of command of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, the Canadian-led task force has made strong contributions to the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) mission to increase regional maritime security and halt illicit smuggling in the Middle East. Since Canada assumed command of CTF-150 on 27 January, 2021, the task force’s counter-narcotics efforts have been substantial. In partnership with navies from the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Canada, CTF-150 has led a total of 26 drug busts. The numbers in terms of total interdictions are impressive: 78,555 lbs (35,632 kg) of hashish; 8,973 lbs (4,070 kg) of heroin; and a stunning 6,762 lbs (3,067 kg) of methamphetamine, a narcotic whose presence is emerging in regional smuggling circuits. Together, these operations have interdicted over $143.6 million dollars of narcotics, the proceeds of which are linked to the financing of regional terrorist and criminal organizations in the…

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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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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)…

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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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A large multinational counter-piracy operation has been conducted by the Pakistan-led Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 in the Gulf of Aden. Focused Operation (FO) TAHAFFUZ was held from 26 February to 5 March, 2021, and was supported by assets from nine different nations with a shared objective to protect global maritime commerce. “FO TAHAFFUZ was conducted to support Combined Maritime Forces (CMF)’s overall campaign objectives of deterring suspected pirates from re-commencing their operations in the region,” said Chief of Staff to Commander CTF 151, Captain Adnan Laghari of Pakistan Navy. “Although the FO is now concluded, we still encourage all merchantmen plying through the Gulf of Aden to keep following the Best Management Practice BMP5 guidelines, and using the Internationally Recognized Transit Corridor for their safety.” In addition to Pakistan Navy, the US Navy, Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, Hellenic Navy, Spanish Navy, and European Union Naval Force Somalia (Operation ATALANTA)…

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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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The Commander of Pakistan-led Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151) held a recent engagement via Zoom with the Commander of the Coastguard and Deputy Commander of the Djibouti Marine Nationale. Commodore Abdul Munib SI (M) of Pakistan Navy followed the current Covid-19 trend of using Zoom conference calling to discuss future collaboration and encourage counter-piracy capability development. The virtual meeting also validates that despite Covid-19 restrictions, the CTF-151 mission to engage with regional partners remains at the forefront of CMF’s operational activity. “We share a common goal – to ensure free flow of commerce,” said Cdre Munib. “At CTF-151, our measure of success is to ensure zero piracy incidents. We are already there, now we need to maintain it. Our mutual cooperation and coordination can make this happen.” He added his desire to assist Djibouti in its pathway to joining the CMF as a member nation, further enhancing cooperation between participant nations. Colonel Waiss…

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