ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Navy has taken over the command of the multinational naval counter-terrorism coalition force from the UK Royal Navy.

The change of command of Combined Task Force-150 took place on Thursday at the United States Naval Forces Central Command Headquarters in Bahrain and Commodore Sajid Mahmood took over command of CTF-150 from Commodore Jeremy Blunden of the Royal Navy.

The ceremony was attended by senior officers from foreign navies that are part of the coalition.

Pakistan has previously commanded the CTF-150 six times. It is responsible for promoting maritime security by countering terrorist acts and related illegal activities which terrorists use to fund or conceal their movements.

The participating countries are: Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Republic of Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Turkey, the UK and the US. The command is rotated among the nations for four to six months’ terms.

The force’s area of operation spans over two million square miles, covering the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman.

Published in Dawn, August 15th, 2014

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