An Anglo-French team now leads Combined Task Force 150, say the Royal Navy.
The team is headed by British Commodore Edward Ahlgren, the two dozen Royal Navy and Marine Nationale personnel will choreograph the actions of up to six international warships, policing a vast area of ocean looking for suspicious vessels.
According to the Royal Navy, the Britons and Frenchmen take the reins of Combined Task Force 150 from Pakistan, whose four-month tenure under Commodore Alveer Ahmed Noor saw more than 25 tonnes of illegal narcotics seized – and terrorist overlords deprived of $19.5m (£16m) during 15 successful boarding operations, often carried out in tricky conditions during the monsoon season.
A news release said:
“150 is one of three long-running international task forces run from Bahrain, dedicated to a specific security/safe seafaring mission, and comprising upwards of half a dozen ships drawn from more than 30 nations. Task Force 151 focuses on keeping piracy off the Horn of Africa in check; 152 concentrates on security within the Gulf.
This is the tenth time the RN has taken charge of the task group and despite the wealth of experience and knowledge British and French sailors have of the region (the French have commanded CTF 150 eight times), Commodore Ahlgren is under no illusions about the challenges facing his team and the warships under its direction as they patrol an area more than 30 times the size of the UK.”