Lieutenant Commander Kellie Bolt, who is deployed with the Canadian-led Combined Task Force 150 as part of Operation MANITOU, recently mentored members of the Mauritius Coast Guard during the annual multinational Exercise CUTLASS EXPRESS.
The United States Africa Command sponsored exercise increases East African and Indian Ocean nations’ capabilities to counter illegal sea-based activities.
Lieutenant Commander Bolt and six Royal Canadian Navy members deployed to Maritime Operation Centres and Regional Coordination Centres in Kenya, Tanzania and Mauritius.
“Our role was to monitor and provide advice on how to improve the interoperability and information sharing between regional Maritime Operations Centres and Regional Coordination Centres,” Lieutenant Commander Bolt said.
Combined Task Force 150 also deployed Royal Canadian Navy boarding specialists to Port Louis, Mauritius, to improve the participating naval and security forces’ in boarding techniques.
“Like the Royal Canadian Navy, the Australian Navy is recognized by the international maritime community as being one of the most proficient navies in the world in conducting maritime security operations,” Lieutenant Commander Bolt said.
Seven Royal Australian Navy members are integrated with 24 Canadian staff at the Combined Maritime Forces headquarters in Manama, Bahrain to command the current Combined Task Force 150 until April 2015.
The Combined Maritime Forces comprises Combined Task Force 150 (maritime security and counter-terrorism), Combined Task Force 151 (counter piracy) and Combined Task Force 152 (Arabian Gulf security and cooperation).
Through maritime security operations, regional engagements and capacity building activities, Combined Task Force 150 works to deter and deny terrorist organizations from using the high seas for smuggling weapons, illicit cargo and narcotics while ensuring the safe passage of merchant ships in some of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.
The Navy's contribution to Combined Task Force 150, represent Australia’s most recent contribution to Operation MANITOU, the Australian Government’s contribution to the international effort to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East Region.
“Having an opportunity to share our experiences and knowledge with partner maritime forces, and promoting international peace and security on the high seas is a valuable experience,” Lieutenant Commander Bolt said.