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Phase Two of Oil Terminal Security Turnover Begins

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050715-04
Release Date: 7/15/2005 8:58:00 AM

By Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Phillip Nickerson, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs

MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- The Iraqi military has begun the next phase in the security turnover process to assume responsibility for the Khawr Al Amaya and Al Basrah oil terminals.

In an interview July 12 aboard USS Normandy (CG 60), Royal Australian Navy Commodore Steve Gilmore, commander, Task Force 58 said that the process will be complete when Iraq's military takes command and control of the oil terminals.

"We’re beginning phase two of a three-phase process, which will transition the point-defense of the Iraqi oil terminals to the Iraqi Marines," said Gilmore.

The oil terminals provide significant revenue for the Iraqi economy. Iraq and coalition forces are working together to progressively transfer full security of the oil terminals to Iraqi forces.

“[The Iraqis] are part of the task force,” said Gilmore. “They are not being placed alongside coalition units; they are replacing coalition units.”

The multinational task force works directly with Iraqi maritime forces to prevent attacks against the Iraqi oil terminals. Gilmore, who took command of Task Force 58 April 17, is the first Australian to lead a multinational coalition since World War II. He is responsible for coalition maritime security operations (MSO) in the North Persian Gulf. He said coalition and Iraqi forces have the ability to ensure security and stability in the area.

MSO set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment, as well as complement the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations. MSO deny international terrorists use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.

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