ABOARD USS NASSAU, At Sea (NNS) -- French Vice Adm. Jacques Mazars, commander, Task Force (CTF) 150, paid a visit to the Sailors and Marines of Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 8 Nov. 29 during the strike group's transit through CTF 150's area of operations.
ESG 8 is on a six-month deployment in support of maritime security operations (MSO).
CTF 150, which was established near the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom, is comprised of navies from Germany, France, Pakistan and the United States, under the direction of U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Patrick M. Walsh, Combined Maritime Forces Component Commander (CFMCC).
CFMCC oversees MSO in and around the Persian Gulf, North Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden, parts of the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea.
Mazars was aboard to discuss current operations, as well as the missions and tasking of ESG 8 with Capt. Martin Allard, commander of the USS Nassau (LHA 4) Strike Group, and Marine Col. Frank McKenzie, Commander, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) (MEU (SOC)).
He viewed AV-8B Harrier II attack jet landings from the ship's flag bridge and toured the Tactical Flag Command Center and Landing Force Operations Center.
Mazars expressed his appreciation for the warm welcome from ESG 8 Sailors and Marines, and said he looks forward to working with the members of the strike group as they conduct MSO in the region.
"I was honored to have Vice Adm. Mazars out here," said Allard. "We look forward to supporting CTF 150 in the future."
In addition to Nassau, the strike group includes the guided-missile cruiser USS Cape St. George (CG 71), the amphibious transport dock USS Austin (LPD 4), the dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD 50), the guided-missile destroyer USS Winston Churchill (DDG 81) and the attack submarine USS Norfolk (SSN 714). The 22nd MEU (SOC), embarked aboard the ships, is composed of its command element, battalion landing team 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines; Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 261 (Reinforced), and MEU Service Support Group 22.
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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