New Counter-Piracy Task Force Established

  • (Source: US Navy)
  • 12:00 AM, January 9, 2009
  • 1664
MANAMA, Bahrain --- The Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) established Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151) Jan. 8 specifically for counter-piracy operations.>> Naval ships and assets from more than 20 nations comprise the Combined Maritime Forces. U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Terence "Terry" McKnight has been named the commander of the new task force which will be fully operational by the middle of January.>> The CMF created the Maritime Security Patrol Area (MSPA) in the Gulf of Aden in August of 2008 to support international efforts to combat piracy. Coalition efforts included CTF-150 assets patrolling the area with ships and aircraft. However, the charter for CTF-150, established at the outset of Operation Enduring Freedom, was for the conduct of Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea, Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. Operations included the deterrence of destabilizing activities, such as drug smuggling and weapons trafficking.>> The establishment of CTF-151 will allow CTF-150 assets to remain focused on those activities, giving CTF-151 the ability to focus solely on the counter-piracy mission.>> "Some navies in our coalition did not have the authority to conduct counter-piracy missions," said Vice Adm. Bill Gortney, CMF commander. "The establishment of CTF-151 will allow those nations to operate under the auspices of CTF-150, while allowing other nations to join CTF-151 to support our goal of deterring, disrupting and eventually bringing to justice the maritime criminals involved in piracy events.
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