Canada assumed command of Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) yesterday, a naval counter-terrorism task force that spans more than two million square miles in the greater Middle East region.
Commodore Brian Santarpia officially took command of CTF-150 during a ceremony held at the headquarters of the 30-nation Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) in Bahrain.
The deployment is part of Operation Artemis, the Canadian Armed Forces’ ongoing contribution to counter-terrorism and maritime security operations across the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman and Indian Ocean.
CTF-150 is one of three multinational naval task forces operated by CMF. The activities of CTF-150 directly influence events ashore, denying international terrorists the use of the seas as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons, or other illicit material.
Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defence, said:
Canada continues to play a key leadership role in countering terrorism and criminal activities while enhancing maritime security.
Our active participation reaffirms our longstanding commitment to international peace and security as well as the rule of law on the ocean commons, and all Canadians are proud to know our men and women in uniform continue to lead in counter-terror missions around the world.
Canada has 24 military personnel and Department of National Defence civilian personnel deployed to Bahrain to lead CTF-150 until April 2015.
The Canadian contingent is joined by seven members of the Australian Defence Forces. The combined nature of this team demonstrates the close relationship between Australia and Canada.
Cmdre Brian Santarpia said:
We look forward to working shoulder to shoulder with our Australian counterparts and the 29 other partner nations involved in CMF over the next four months as we build upon the achievements of previous commands and continue promoting international peace and security in some of the world’s busiest and most important shipping lanes and waterways.
Press release, Image: Canadian Navy