MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- Coalition ships from the British-led Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 continue to maintain a presence off the east coast of Africa in response to the recent events in Somalia.
CTF 150 includes USS Ramage (DDG 61) and USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) and other coalition ships. These warships are conducting maritime security operations (MSO) to ensure continued security and stability of international waters surrounding the Horn of Africa.
Coalition naval forces are performing boardings on a number of vessels to deter individuals with links to al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations the use of the sea as a potential escape route.
The coalition ships of CTF 150 maintain a maritime presence in the international waters of the Gulf of Oman, North Arabian Sea, parts of the Indian Ocean, Gulf of Aden, and the Red Sea.
Recent events in Somalia are a cause of concern because of the potential for an increased risk of piracy and illegal activities that historically has followed the instability in that country.
Royal Navy Commodore Bruce Williams, Commander, Task Force 150, based in Bahrain, said, "In response to international will, CTF 150 provides an enduring coalition maritime presence in the region to promote a safe and secure maritime environment, and most importantly, support our regional friends in their drive for peaceful use of the high seas and territorial waters. Coalition Forces will continue routine operations in this unstable area as long as the need exists for our presence."
MSO help set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment, as well as complement the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations. These operations deny international terrorists use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.
CTF 150 is one of three coalition maritime task forces that conduct MSO under the direction of U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Patrick Walsh, Combined Forces Maritime Component Commander, based in Bahrain. Walsh also commands CTF 158 in the North Arabian Gulf and CTF 152, which is responsible for patrolling the Central and Southern Arabian Gulf.
For more news from U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet visit http://www.cusnc.navy.mil/.