MINA SALMAN, Bahrain (NNS) -- French Navy Rear Adm. Alain Hinden relieved Royal Navy Commodore Bruce Williams as Commander, Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 on April 4 during a change of control ceremony aboard the French Ship (FS) Somme (A 631).
The ceremony concluded the Royal Navy's four-month command of CTF 150, which conducts maritime security operations (MSO) in the Gulf of Aden, Gulf Oman, the Arabian Sea, Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.
CTF 150, established near the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom, is comprised of naval ships from numerous coalition nations, including Canada, France, Germany, Pakistan, United Kingdom and the United States.
Williams feels the task force will continue to develop under Hinden's command.
"I believe we have made quiet but significant progress, and I am certain under my successor's direction this will continue," said Williams.
Williams said under his command, there has been a developing sense of security reported by local mariners. Maritime criminals have had to change their mode of operation and there has been a decrease in piracy in CTF 150 waters.
"What has made this happen?" asked Williams. "A persistent and consistent international resolve and steadfast coalition."
Hinden agreed, and said the only way that the MSO mission can be accomplished is by members of the coalition working together.
"The identical color of our flags, the identical color of our uniforms and the identical strength of our will disguises the fact that we are different navies," said Hinden, after assuming control of the task force. "What Task Force 150 does is serious. What Task Force 150 does has to be done by working together. What Task Force 150 does can only be accomplished by voluntary contribution, but overall, that which we do is simply normal. It's normal because our primary purpose is simply to help our friends."
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.
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cusnc/.