Royal Australian Navy staff from the Combined Maritime Forces counter-terrorism task force, Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150), did not let the festive season interrupt their important work in Bahrain after taking over the Task Force in early December.
As an agile task force bolstered by international cooperation, the joint Canadian-Australian CTF-150 meets regularly with regional partners to discuss common challenges and interoperability.
Recently they met with representatives of the regional Australian Federal Police detachment to deepen the relationship between the two organisations in defeating maritime terrorism.
The visit involved a tour of facilities; a brief outline of some CTF-150’s experiences and current operations and a discussion on some of the challenges faced across both organisations in the maritime area of the Middle East Region. The opportunity to meet face to face to discuss these issues was an invaluable step towards more inter-agency cooperation in the future.
Deputy Commander of CTF- 150, and Royal Australian Navy Captain, Nicholas Stoker, said that it was vital that all government agencies in the region worked together.
“We share common objectives in promoting legitimate use of the seas in the Middle East Region,” he said.
“Working in partnership can benefit both of our organisations and ensure that waterways in the region stay safe and secure for international trade to thrive.”
The deployment of military staff to Combined Task Force 150 represents some of Australia’s contribution to Operation MANITOU, the Australian Government’s contribution to the international effort to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East Region.
Through maritime security operations, regional engagements and capacity building with the regional naval and security forces, Combined Task Force 150 works to deter and deny terrorist organisations from using the maritime domain to fund their activities through the smuggling of weapons, illicit cargo and narcotics while ensuring the safe passage of merchant ships in some of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.