Canada completed its third command of Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) after relinquishing command to France on Thursday April 13, during a formal change of command ceremony in Manama, Bahrain.
CTF-150 falls under the banner of Operation ARTEMIS, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)’s ongoing contribution to counter-terrorism and maritime security operations in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman and Western Indian Ocean.
The aim of this combined task force is to deter and deny terrorist organizations the unrestricted use of the seas to conduct maritime attacks or to transport personnel, weapons, or illicit contraband to fund their activities.
“Commodore Edmundson and his team are to be congratulated for their successful completion of Canada’s third CTF 150 mission. Canadians can be proud of the CAF’s continued leadership in the fight against terrorism and ensuring that international oceans and waterways remain safe and secure. The successes of the CMF during the Canadian tour contributed in denying the ability to fund illegal activities of terrorist organizations and ensured a safer passage for legitimate mariners. Their participation in Exercise CUTLASS EXPRESS 17 brought additional expertise to assist the region’s nations build their maritime security capacity,” said Minister of National Defence, Harjit Sajjan.
Between Dec. 8, 2016, and April 13, 2017, 30 CAF and Department of National Defence (DND) personnel were deployed to Bahrain to command CTF-150. They were accompanied by eight members of the Australian Defence Force, allowing the two countries to further develop interoperability.
These CAF and DND members were responsible for overseeing the stability and security of an area that spans over two million square miles and encompasses some of the world’s most important transoceanic shipping routes.
During this time, three significant seizures of drugs occurred: on March 2, Royal Australian Navy Ship HMAS Arunta seized more than 800 kg of hashish; on March 13, United States Ship USS Laboon seized 270 kg of heroin; and on March 17, USS Laboon seized 500 kg of hashish.
“It has been my honour to lead this outstanding group of professionals who worked diligently in achieving Operation ARTEMIS’ objectives. This Canadian-Australian collaboration continues to demonstrate our shared values and commitment to maritime security in this region of the globe. Canada should be proud of the outstanding achievements of their deployed personnel,” said Commodore Haydn Edmundson, outgoing Commander Combined Task Force 150.
CTF 150 is one of three multinational naval forces operated by Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), the US-led Coalition that has promoted maritime security in the Arabian Sea region since 2002.