MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- Combined Task Force Iraqi Maritime (CTF IM) declared mission complete and was officially disestablished Dec. 31.
CTF IM was established in 2003 as a result of Operation Iraqi Freedom to support the government of Iraq in maintaining the integrity of Iraqi territorial waters and the defense of the Al Basrah and Khawr Al Amaya oil terminals. It consisted of naval assets from the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, the Royal Australian navy and the British Royal navy working alongside elements of the Iraqi navy and the Iraqi marines.
The coalition maritime component synchronized training and capacity building efforts between U.S. Forces-Iraq and U.S. Naval Forces Central Command.
"This is a significant milestone and demonstrates that the Iraqi Navy has the capacity to protect its coastline and offshore assets," said Rear Adm. Charles M. Gaouette, deputy commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT).
CTF IM oversaw the training between U.S. Navy surface combatants, patrol boats, air assets and Iraqi Maritime forces while exercising tactical control of Iraqi patrol boats to conduct maritime patrol operations.
The U.S. Navy will continue to conduct training, exercises, and further our relations with Iraqi maritime forces.
"Our continued partnership with the Iraq Maritime Forces is important to us, and we remain deeply committed to security and stability of the region," said Gaouette.
Naval personnel from various countries, backgrounds and expertise provided hands-on training that prepared the Iraqi navy and marines for success.
NAVCENT is responsible for approximately 2.5 million square miles of area including the Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, parts of the Indian Ocean and 20 countries. U.S. 5th Fleet's mission is to conduct maritime security operations, defeat violent extremism and strengthen partner nations' maritime capabilities in order to promote security and stability in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.
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For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/5th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusnc/.