MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- Pakistani Commodore Khan Hasham Bin Siddique relieved French Rear Adm. Alain Hinden as Commander, Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 during a change of command ceremony at Naval Support Activity Bahrain on Aug. 1.
The ceremony successfully concluded the French Navy's fourth command of CTF 150, which conducts Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in the Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. The change of command marks the second time the Pakistani Navy takes the helm of CTF 150.
CTF 150, established near the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom, is comprised of warships from numerous coalition nations, including France, Germany, Pakistan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
"As I look back on my tenure in command, I can say it was very rewarding and productive," said Hinden. "Throughout these 120 days at sea, we boarded dozens of vessels, saved just as many lives, visited every nation in the region, and fought off pirates. Having to conduct a diverse nature of operations in a large area of responsibility every single day brought new challenges."
Under Hinden's leadership, CTF 150 coordinated patrols throughout their area of operations so commercial shipping and fishing could operate safely and freely in the region. Additionally, CTF 150 coalition ships made many successful at-sea rescues, including more than 26 mariners in distress during a heavy monsoon season.
Guest speaker, Vice Adm. Kevin J. Cosgriff, Commander, Combined Maritime Forces, praised the accomplishments of Hinden and his staff of 34 officers from Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Hinden expressed confidence in turning over CTF 150 to very competent hands.
"I now pass the baton to you," said Hinden. "An experienced Sailor like you knows that bad weather is never far away and storms can be sudden as they are brutal. With your knowledge and experience, you are well prepared to face the challenges that lie ahead. I wish you all the very best in this fantastic and rewarding mission."
Upon assuming command of CTF 150, Commodore Hasham said, "As I stand here today, I feel elated and proud. Together with the Coalition, we hope to achieve our common objective of peace through commitment, hard work and professional excellence."
Vice Adm. Cosgriff said the change of command ceremony was a momentous occasion for Coalition forces.
"Coalition forces are at the forefront of Maritime Security Operations daily," said Cosgriff. "We are protecting essential maritime infrastructure, while we continuously expand and strengthen our coalition individual and collective capabilities."
MSO help set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment and complement the counter-terrorism and security efforts in regional nations' littoral waters. Coalition forces also conduct MSO under international maritime conventions to ensure security and safety in international waters so that commercial shipping and fishing can occur safely in the region.
Cosgriff said he could not imagine a more challenging and rewarding mission and a finer group of individuals with whom to share it with.
"I thank Adm. Hinden, Commodore Hasham and all of the coalition nations for their unwavering support," said Cosgriff. "Our coalition actions are characterized through our shared determination, strength, compassion and persistence."
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cusnc/.