The Royal Navy (RN) handed over command of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) Combined Task Force 150 (CTF150) to the Royal Saudi Navy (RSN) after conducting a change of command ceremony at CMF Headquarters in Bahrain on Aug 9.
Commodore Al-shahrani RSN, assumed command of CTF150 from Commodore Steve Moorhouse OBE RN. The ceremony was presided over by Vice Admiral Scott Stearney USN, Commander US Naval Forces Central Command, Commander US Fifth Fleet and Commander Combined Maritime Forces.
The assumption of command of CTF150 by Saudi Arabia is particularly notable as this will be first time any Gulf nation will have undertaken this role in CMF. In addition to this, the RSN will continue its present lead of CTF152.
The principal mission of CTF150 is to deter terrorism, narcotics smuggling, charcoal and other illegal activity in the maritime environment across an area of almost 3.2 million square miles, encompassing the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden, Somali Basin and Southern Red Sea. During the next four months the Saudi Arabian-led team will continue their work to counter terrorism and drug smugglers and reassure legitimate users of the high seas while ensuring the free flow of commerce across the area of operations.