Commodore Darren Garnier of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) officially assumed command of Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150) yesterday, Dec. 6, 2018, during a change of command ceremony held at Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) Headquarters in Manama, Bahrain.
Commodore Garnier assumed command from Commodore Hassan Saeed Alshahrani of the Royal Saudi Naval Forces.
CTF 150 is a task force under CMF, which is the naval coalition of 33 nations that promotes security and stability in the international waters of the Middle East region. CFT 150 is one of three multinational naval task forces operated by Combined Maritime Forces.
“On behalf of Canada and the entire incoming CTF 150 staff, I am honoured to assume command of CTF 150 and I can assure you that our joint Canadian and Australian Task Group has worked extremely hard to prepare for this important counter-terrorism mission. This deployment is a team effort and we will engage tirelessly to enhance regional cooperation and coalition interoperability, while helping to ensure maritime security and the free-flow of international trade and commerce in some of the world’s busiest and most challenging waterways.
“As the incoming staff we are keen to build upon the enduring contributions of our predecessors and to work alongside our current Combined Maritime Forces partners in seeking opportunities to disrupt use of the high seas by terrorist groups as a pathway for illicit activities that is then used to fund or conceal their movements,” stated Commodore Darren Garnier, commander combined Task Force 150 in a press release.
Canada has deployed 29 CAF military personnel and one Department of National Defence civilian employee to CMF Headquarters to lead CTF 150 until April 2019. They will join the over 100 Operation ARTEMIS, the CAF’s ongoing contribution to the counter-terrorism and maritime security operations in the Middle Eastern and East African waters.
“I’m extremely proud of our commitment to counter-terrorism through enhanced maritime security in the Middle East, which ultimately makes us safer at home. This is another example of Canada’s strong military leadership on the world stage, and I have the utmost confidence in Commodore Garnier’s ability to command this task force with the highest levels of excellence for which Canadian military leaders are well-known,” says General Jonathan Vance, chief of the defence staff.
Through maritime security operations, regional engagement and capacity building, CFT 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.