Commander CTF150 Blog 1 - Underway and making way

Topic: Fighting armsSurface Fleet

A fortnight into my command of Combined Task Force 150 (or ‘one fifty’ as it is known) and my team are now firmly into their stride.

My predecessor, Commodore Jaimie Hatcher of the Royal Australian Navy, left everything in good order so the takeover has been straightforward.

Working in the Headquarters of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) is very rewarding.  Having spent last year working with NATO forces I am very comfortable with multinational operations and the 31 nations of CMF bring many new perspectives and cultural differences.  

I benefit from having a mixed team with me (British, American, Canadian and Saudi) which helps to maintain a rounded view of operations – not simply the British way!  There is much to learn from our regional partners.

Even though this is my fourth deployment to the Middle East, the complexity, and sheer size, of the operating area demands the constant focus of my team who draw heavily on the corporate knowledge of the CMF staff that sit alongside us.  It is a fascinating area in which to work.

The counter-terrorist focus of my Task Force provides ample motivation for my staff and the warships that operate under my tactical command.  

Recent operations by CMF and US warships to interdict weapons traffickers successfully has been particularly satisfying and demonstrates the effectiveness of our forces in combatting illegal activity in the maritime environment. 

Acting in accordance with an international legal framework, especially the Law of the Sea, I hope to deliver similar success during my command.  

My team is also adjusting to life in Bahrain. The weather is still comfortable by European standards with midday temperatures just into the 30s, but we aware of just how hot things will get by the summer months.

So, we are set fair for next 4 months in command and very much looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead.  As has been a constant feature of my naval career, you never know what tomorrow will bring.   

From a bedrock of good, hardworking people and highly capable ships we can, and will, go a long way towards defeating the terrorist threat at sea.