ISLAMABAD: The French Navy (FN) handed over the command of the multinational Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) to Pakistan Navy (PN) at an impressive change of command ceremony held in the United States (US) Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) headquarters in Bahrain. PN Rear Admiral Naveed Ahmed Rizvi took over the command from FN Rear Admiral Olivier Lebas.
It is for the 10th time that PN has been entrusted with this honour. The ceremony was presided over by US Naval Force Central Command Commander and Combined Maritime Forces Commander Vice Admiral Kevin M Donegan.
At the outset of the ceremony, the outgoing commander of the CTF-150 presented the resume of the task force’s recent accomplishments. Kevin Donegan, during his address, also congratulated him for a job well done.
While addressing the audience, PN rear admiral assured that his team is fully prepared to shoulder this prestigious responsibility. The commander also lauded the outgoing FN team, and their dedicated efforts to achieve the objectives of the force during their tenure, and reaffirmed his resolve to continue the operations with the same zeal and zest. He further highlighted that the relations between PN and the coalition navies continue to strengthen due to Pakistan’s commitment to support the collaborative maritime security to bring peace and stability in the region.
CTF-150 is one of the three task forces within the ambit of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). It is a multinational coalition for counter-terrorism operations at sea, in support of the Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). It also functions to promote maritime security and to deter, deny and disrupt any acts of terrorism while countering any related illicit activities at sea.
The number of participating countries in CMF has risen to 31, over a period of few years.
Before assuming the command again, Pakistan Navy had the exclusive distinction of commanding the CTF-150 for nine times, and another multinational Combined Task Force 151 (Counter-piracy Task Force) eight times which is a manifestation of the trust and respect enjoyed by the Pakistan Navy among coalition partners. Over the years, PN has not only served the maritime interests of Pakistan but has also, very effectively, fulfilled its international obligations.
The ceremony was attended by Pakistan Ambassador to Bahrain Javed Malik and several high-ranking military officials from the coalition countries.