Commonwealth colleagues prepare for task

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Natasha Callan (author and photographer)

Topic(s): Operations, Operation MANITOU

Petty Officer Combat Systems Supervisor Eric Mellberg, Captain Scott, Lieutenant RainaTaggart and Lieutenant diju Kanjiraparambil conduct CTF 150 preparations in Halifax. (photo: LEUT Natasha Callan)
Petty Officer Combat Systems Supervisor Eric Mellberg, Captain Scott, Lieutenant RainaTaggart and Lieutenant diju Kanjiraparambil conduct CTF 150 preparations in Halifax.

A group of Navy personnel have acclimatised after completing their staff integration and mission validation in Halifax for the forthcoming rotation with the Canadian led Combined Task Force 150 in the Middle East.  

Combined Task Force 150 is a multinational task force whose mission is to promote maritime security in order to counter terrorist acts and related illegal activities, which terrorists use to fund or conceal their movements. 

The pre-deployment training for Royal Australian Navy members was conducted over a four-week period which commenced in Sydney in October. 

The group bonded as a team from the get-go despite the diverse geographic locations and various job descriptions.

Commander of Rotation 10 off the Task Force, Commodore Haydn Edmundson, said that the preparation focused on understanding processes and tempo of the operation to ensure the team was ready to deploy.

“I am proud of how the team came together during this preparatory period,” Commodore Edmundson said. 

“All deploying personnel have worked hard to achieve mission ready status and are ready to take the helm of CTF 150 on 8 December,” he said.

Members participated in a variety of activities including pre-deployment briefs from previous rotations and undertaking the Force Preparation Course. 

Although cultural awareness was a key element of the Canadian integration, much of the effort has been focused on preparing the team’s professional competencies for the upcoming deployment. 

Canadian cultural immersion began immediately after the 17 hour flight to Halifax, where the team were confronted with both the cooler climate and the challenge of driving on the right hand side of the road.  

Team integration continued on the sporting field with friendly games of soccer and hockey, which quickly revealed the competitive spirit of the members.

Based in Bahrain, the multinational task force operates over two million square miles, covering the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman with over one third of the world’s oil passing through each year. 

This area is a vital artery of world trade that includes the main shipping routes from the Far East to Europe and the US with over 23,000 shipping movements per year. 

Command of the Task Force is rotated between participatory nations on a four to six month basis.