Two United States Navy patrol boats based in Bahrain have completed their first deployment with Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150), the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) counter-terrorism and maritime security task force.
For most of January and February, USS Firebolt and USS Thunderbolt operated in direct support to CTF-150, ensuring security, safety and freedom of navigation for commercial shipping in international waters, building positive relations with local fishermen and merchants, and helping to develop a better understanding of the maritime environment in the region.
Commodore Brian Santarpia from the Royal Canadian Navy and current Commander of CTF-150 said:
US Navy patrol boats have proven to be versatile ships for the type of operations we conduct in the Gulf of Oman and North Arabian Sea.
They definitively have the capability and the motivation that we need to support counter-terrorism operations.
Commodore Tom Shultz from the US Navy is the Commander of Patrol Coastal Squadron One. He said:
Now that there are 10 patrol craft home-ported in Bahrain, with permanent crews, and permanent squadron support, you’re seeing the full capability of these ships in the US Fifth Fleet. That’s specifically highlighted as they’ve expanded from just supporting our own patrol craft squadron and CMF’s Gulf security task force, CTF-152, to now pushing out and supporting CTF-150 maritime security and counter-terrorism operations.
During their deployment, the crews of USS Firebolt and USS Thunderbolt also had an opportunity to discover new ports, including Fujairah and Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates as well as Wudam in Oman.