Pakistan Navy Cdre. Abdul Aleem assumes command of Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 from Turkish Navy Rear Adm. Sinan Ertugrul aboard HMS Cornwall. Ertugrul took command of CTF 151 in August. CTF 151 was established in January 2009 to conduct counterpiracy operations in and around the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin. (Photo courtesy of Combined Maritime Forces)
MANAMA, Bahrain (Nov. 29, 2010) — Pakistan Navy Cdre. Abdul Aleem assumed command of Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 from Turkish Navy Rear Adm. Sinan Ertugrul during a ceremony held aboard HMS Cornwall while in port Fujairah, UAE Nov. 29.
CTF 151 is a multinational task force established in Jan. 2009 to conduct counterpiracy operations in and around the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin.
“Pakistan has been a valued partner in Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) for many years now,” said Cdre. Tim Fraser, deputy commander, CMF. “They’ve had a major impact on maritime security operations in the region, having commanded CTF 150 four times and will now use those skills countering piracy in the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin in CTF 151.”
As CTF 151 commander, Ertugrul led ships from Australia, Republic of Korea, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, the U.K. and U.S. The command staff included personnel from Bahrain, Canada, Turkey, the U.K. and U.S.
Turkey’s period of command included the retaking of the M/V Magellan Star from pirate control; a the rescue of refugees in the Gulf of Aden and the first involvement of Royal Thai Navy ships in CTF 151.
“Given the importance of this region to international trade and the world economy, it could be argued that the problem of piracy has the potential to affect every individual on the planet,” said Ertugrul, reflecting on his three months in command. Consequently, during my period of command it has been clear to me that international cooperation must underpin everything we do.
Ertugrul stressed the constant awareness joint Naval forces must have to continue to be successful in their counterpiracy mission.
“Those who seek to commit piracy at sea have shown themselves to be resourceful and flexible, modifying their behavior as we frustrate their tactics,” he said. “Naval forces must therefore remain astute and adaptable. However, the pirates should know this – we are here to stay as long as is necessary.”