Tuesday 1 April 2008

Pakistan navy took over the command of the Combined Task

Pakistan Navy last month took over the command of the Combined Task Force (CTF-150) of the navies of 20 nations, which maintains security and stability in the maritime environment and complements counterterrorism efforts in littoral waters of the regional states.

A ceremony was held at the auditorium of US Navy Central Command where Commodore Khan Hashim bin Siddique of Pakistan Navy formally took over the command of CTF-150 from the outgoing Commander Rear Admiral Alain Hinden of France.

The major countries in the CTF-150 are the US, Britain, France, Australia, Italy, Japan, Germany, Netherlands and Spain.

Pakistan, which has got the command for the second time, would supervise the operations to look after the maritime interests spread over around 2.4 million nautical miles of waters stretching from North Arabian Sea to the Horn of Africa, including the Red Sea. The focus of operations is around the Gulf of Oman and North Arabian Sea, covering shores and waters of around 14 countries.

The CTF-150 is a major component of Coalition Maritime Campaign Plan (CMCP), in place since October 2001 with the aim to maintain peace and stability on sea lanes of communication and prevent illegal activities like human trafficking, drug and weapons smuggling and movement of terrorists.

Pakistan Navy has been contributing its assets since April 2004. Besides others, the ceremony was witnessed by the ambassadors of Pakistan, France, USA and Japan.

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