It was an honour and a pleasure to visit ESPS Relampago. CTF 150 is appreciative of the support from ESPS Relampago and Operation Atalanta units during recent operations and we look forward to serving with this group of professional sailors again in the future.
Cmdre Edmundson and the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Francisco Garcia Flores, discussed areas of mutual concern which included information sharing, maritime domain awareness and collaboration.
Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150) is one of three task forces operated by Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). Its mission is to promote maritime security in order to counter terrorist acts and related illegal activities, which terrorists use to fund or conceal their movements. The activities of CTF 150 directly influence events ashore, as terrorist organisations are denied a risk free method of conducting operations or moving personnel, weapons or income-generating narcotics. CTF-150’s area of operation includes some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. CTF 150‘s Area of Operation (AOR) spans over two million square miles, covering the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman (but not the Arabian Gulf, which is the responsibility of CTF 152).
This area is a vital artery of world trade that includes the main shipping routes from the Far East to Europe and the US with over 23,000 shipping movements per year. Over one third of the world’s oil passes through the Area of Operation (AOR) each year. In addition the AOR contains three narrow waterways, know as ‘choke points’, where vessels are required to pass closely between two shorelines. This means they have limited maneuverability and are more vulnerable than would otherwise be the case in open waters.
About the Combined Maritime Forces
Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) is a multi-national naval partnership, which exists to promote security, stability and prosperity across approximately 3.2 million square miles of international waters, which encompass some of the world’s most important shipping lanes. CMF’s main focus areas are defeating terrorism, preventing piracy, encouraging regional cooperation, and promoting a safe maritime environment. CMF counters violent extremism and terrorist networks in maritime areas of responsibility; works with regional and other partners to improve overall security and stability; helps strengthen regional nations’ maritime capabilities and, when requested, responds to environmental and humanitarian crises. CMF operates three task forces: CTF 150 (maritime security and counter-terrorism), CTF 151 (counter piracy) and CTF 152 (Arabian Gulf security and cooperation).