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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Royal Navy takes command of Maritime Security Force

12 April 2016

The Royal Navy has taken command of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 after conducting a handover ceremony with the Royal Australian Navy.

The Royal Navy has taken command of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, an element of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) multi-national naval partnership which is designed to promote security, stability and prosperity across more than three million square miles of international waters.

CTF 150's principal mission is to disrupt terrorist organisations and their unlawful activities by restricting freedom of manoeuvre at sea. The Task Force has been combating terrorism by tackling the narcotics and weapons smuggling that funds terrorist activities.

Its vessels also assist mariners in distress and undertake other humanitarian work as required. For the last four months, under the command of the Royal Australian Navy, CTF 150 has been working to deter terrorists and smugglers from using the seas as an avenue to finance crime and terrorist activity. There have been four drugs seizures led by HMAS Melbourne and HMAS Darwin.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

"The UK has one of the strongest navies in the world. Leading this important joint force underlines our commitment, both to working with allies to fight Daesh and to tackling terrorism across the region."

Commodore Guy Robinson of the Royal Navy took command of CTF150 from Commodore Jaimie Hatcher of the Royal Australian Navy on Sunday in a ceremony in Bahrain. Commodore Robinson will lead personnel from nations including UK, US, Canada and Saudi Arabia.

He said:

"I am hugely grateful for all the hard work done by our Australian and Canadian predecessors and look forward to building on the strong foundations that have already been laid. Through continued close co-operation with the CMF team we will ensure that our efforts contribute effectively towards the achievement of longer-term objectives."

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