Canada has assumed command of Combined Task Force 150, a unit of Combined Maritime Forces that conducts maritime security operations in sea areas outside the Persian Gulf.
The Royal Canadian Navy took over from its French counterpart on Wednesday, in which Capt. Yannick Bossu welcomed his successor, Capt. Colin Matthew, during a turnover ceremony.
Under Bossu’s command since July, the task force executed 14 successful boardings and confiscated 16 tons of illegal narcotics with an estimated street value of $600 million, according to the U.S. Navy.
In ending his tour with CTF 150, the Frenchman acknowledged that support from French, British, American, Indian and Pakistani ships in the past six months contributed to the multinational maritime task force’s success.
Meanwhile, Matthews intends to sustain the previous commander’s achievements.
“The success of this operation lies with our ability to work with like-minded nations toward the same goals, ensuring that legitimate commercial shipping can transit the region free from non-state threats,” the captain declared.
In carrying out his duties, Matthews will depend on core personnel of French, British, New Zealanders, Australians and Bahrainis to stop criminal and terrorist organizations from generating income through drug-smuggling activities.
CTF 150 is one of five task forces operating under the Combined Maritime Forces, which was established in 2001 to combat bad actors in open seas and promote security and stability across the Middle East and the Horn of Africa.
CMF is headquartered in Bahrain with the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet.
Currently, the Canadian military contributes 25 personnel to CMF task forces, including the CTF 154 deputy commander and staff officers working with CTF 153.