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Pakistani Navy Hands Combined Task Force Command to France

American Forces Press Service

MINA SALMAN PIER, Bahrain, Feb. 25, 2008 – Command of a multinational task force that conducts maritime security operations in the Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Red Sea and the Indian Ocean changed hands today aboard Pakistan Naval Ship Tippu Sultan.

Rear Adm. Jean L. Kerignard of the French navy relieved Pakistani Commodore Khan Hasham Bin Saddique as commander of Combined Task Force 150.

The task force, established toward the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom, is made up of warships from numerous coalition nations, including France, Germany, Pakistan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Kevin J. Cosgriff, commander of Combined Maritime Forces, praised the effectiveness of CTF 150 as well as the accomplishments of Hasham and his staff.

“The coalition is more cognizant and better prepared for the future because of Hasham’s strong leadership,” he said. “We are all in debt for his insight, direction and spirit while he led CTF 150.”

Under Hasham’s leadership, CTF 150 coordinated patrols throughout the task force’s area of operations to help commercial shipping and fishing operate safely and freely in the region. Additionally, CTF 150 coalition ships made 11 successful at-sea rescues and made the largest drug bust in the area of operations since 2005.

“CTF 150 has been active in helping mariners in peril and has saved many lives on various occasions,” Hasham said. “Our conscious efforts to build on the coalition have been fruitful.”

Hasham said CTF 150 has come a long way since its inception.

“It is a coherent force that is able to respond effectively to the challenges it faces,” he said. “The command is indeed a manifestation of the Pakistan navy’s continued commitment to support coalition efforts to maintain peace and lawful maritime order at sea. We feel proud for having contributed wholeheartedly, and to the best of our abilities, to advance the cause of maritime security in areas that are undoubtedly most important for the economic prosperity and well being of the world.”

Kerignard said he plans to ensure the coalition continues its united vision of promoting stability in the maritime environment.

“We will go forth with making this region a safer place, and we will succeed,” he said. “It will take time, passion and perseverance.”

Cosgriff said he looks forward to working with Kerignard in the coalition.

“I am confident that under Kerignard’s leadership, coalition operations will be dynamic, persistent and effective,” he said.

Cosgriff also highlighted the continuity a change-of-command ceremony exhibits.

“It demonstrates the fact that nations can come together and collaborate to hand over responsibility from one to another,” he said. “It’s tangible evidence of the sustaining feature in the coalition.”

This is the French navy’s fifth time leading CTF 150.

“I am very proud to take command,” Kerignard said. “CTF 150 is among the strong contributors of this operation.”

Maritime security operations help to set the conditions for security, which promotes stability in the maritime environment, and complements counterterrorism efforts in regional nations’ coastal waters. Coalition forces also conduct operations under international maritime conventions to ensure security and safety in international waters so that commercial shipping and fishing can occur safely in the region.

(From a Combined Maritime Forces Public Affairs news release.)

Contact Author

Vice Adm. Kevin J. Cosgriff, USN

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Combined Maritime Forces

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