Australia has assumed command of Command Task Force 150 as part of Operation MANITOU in the Middle East.
Commodore Jaimie Hatcher has assumed command of Command Task Force 150 from Rear Admiral Muhammad Moazzam Ilyas, of the Pakistan Navy, at a ceremony in Bahrain.
On assuming command, Commodore Hatcher said it was a privilege to lead the seventh rotation of Australians who deployed to the Middle East for the mission as part of MANITOU.
He acknowledged the successes of Rear Admiral Moazzam Ilyas’s team, both at sea and in their active engagement with regional navies.
“Upon the impressive operational platform laid by Rear Admiral Ilyas and his predecessors, our mission will be to further degrade the use of the maritime environment by terrorists and those who support terrorism in the Middle East and west Indian Ocean maritime regions,” Commodore Hatcher said.
“Operating within a diverse group of nations in the Combined Maritime Forces is a privilege and there is much we are able to learn from each other.”
Commodore Hatcher will lead a team of 20 Australians - 17 Navy, one Army, one Defence civilian and one Australian Federal Police officer - and seven Canadian Navy personnel, for five months of operations in the 30-nation Combined Maritime Forces in Bahrain.
His team will plan and execute operations involving a range of ships and aircraft from the United States-led Combined Maritime Forces member nations across an area of 3.2 million square miles, including the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman.
The principal mission of Command Task Force 150 is to suppress the exploitation of the maritime environment by those who perpetrate or enable terrorist acts.