Islamabad: Pakistan Navy handed over the Command of the multinational Combined Task Force 151 (Counter Piracy Task Force) to the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force at an impressive Change of Command Ceremony held at the Combined Maritime Forces HQs inBahrain. Cdre Muhammad Shuaibfrom the Pakistan Navy handed over the Command to Rear Admiral, Cheng Kwok Chien from the Japanese Navy. The Ceremony was presided by Commander of the Combined Maritime Forces, Vice Admiral Kevin Michael Donegan of the United States Navy.Pakistani Ambassador to BahrainMr Javed Malik,and several high-ranking civilian and military officials from coalition countries were also present at the occasion. At the outset of the ceremony, Cdre Muhammad Shuaib, outgoing CCTF-151 presented a resume of CTF-151's recent accomplishments in which he applauded the wholehearted support and cooperation of coalition partners, which enabled him to discharge his duties in a professional manner. He also lauded his staff whichincluded officers from Turkey, Japan, and CMF HQ and thanked the navies of Japan, Korea and Turkey for contributing ships and aircraft to the Task Force during the Pakistan Navy Command tenure. The relinquishing Commander further added that the regional and global maritime security situation remains in flux and is challenging. In this situation, the importance of maritime security regimeswhich promote collaboration and cooperation at sea amongst navies cannot be over emphasized. He reiterated that the Pakistan Navy would continue to work with international navies to promote global peace and security. He further underscored that the Pakistan Navy remains committed to ensure maritime security, trade, and freedom of navigation for all legitimate uses. Citing the recently concluded Multinational Naval ExerciseAMAN-17, under the auspices of Pakistan Navy held at Karachi - wherein more than 37 countries participated -Cdre Muhammad Shuaib said that the PN has always initiated efforts to promote peace and harmony amongst the global maritime community.
Vice Admiral Donegan, Commander of the Combined Maritime Forces, while lauding Pakistan Navy's contributions and achievements of CTF-151, affirmed that the hard work of Pakistan Naval officers and sailors during their Command tenure has made it possible to keep the waters of the Combined Maritime Forces Area of operations safer than ever before.
In light of the UN Security Council Resolution, CTF-151's mission is to deter, disrupt, and suppress piracy at sea and to engage with regional and other partners to build capacity and improve relevant capabilities in order to protect global Maritime Commerce and secure freedom of navigation.
The Pakistan Navy concluded her eighth successful command of CTF-151 which has been a manifestation of trust and respect enjoyed by the Pakistan Navy amongst coalition partners. In addition, Pakistan Navy has also commanded CTF-150 nine times. Over the years, Pakistan navy has not only served the maritime interests of Pakistan but has also actively participated in international coalition operations.
Source: Daily Times