Canadian participation in Combined Task Force 150

Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) is one of three flotillas operating in the waters of the Middle East and southwest Asia, and off the Horn of Africa, under the command and control of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), the 29-nation naval coalition that promotes security and stability in the international waters of the Middle East.

CTF-150 was established in October 2001, in the early days of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

Composition and role of CTF-150

As a "combined" task force, CTF-150 is multinational. At various times, its usual complement of about 10 warships and auxiliary vessels has included naval vessels from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.

CTF-150 operates in the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea and the northwest quadrant of the Indian Ocean. Its primary activity is the conduct of maritime security operations.

The purpose of maritime security operations is to help set the conditions for security and stability at sea, while complementing the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations.

Maritime security operations are the actions of modern naval forces to combat sea-based terrorism and related illegal activities.

The primary activity of maritime security operations is the type of boarding mission known as VBSS, for "Visit, Board, Search and Seizure," in which patrolling warships:

  • hail merchant vessels transiting their area of responsibility, and
  • send boarding parties to visit and search vessels of interest that is, vessels suspected of involvement in activity related to terrorism for weapons and other illicit cargo.

Warships engaged in maritime security operations also assist mariners in distress and engaging regional and coalition navies.

Canadian involvement in CTF-150

Since May 2012, Her Majesty's Canadian ships serving with CTF-150 have been deployed on Operation ARTEMIS.

  • HMCS Toronto: since 3 February 2013 (Roto 2)
  • HMCS Regina: 19 August 2012 – 28 January 2013 (Roto 1)
  • HMCS Charlottetown: 3 May - 24 August 2012 (Roto 0)

From 25 October 2009 to 8 April 2010, HMCS Fredericton served with CTF-150 while deployed on Operation SAIPH.

From 2004 to 2008, Her Majesty's Canadian ships served with CTF-150 while deployed on Operation ALTAIR:

  • HMCS Toronto: January - July 2004 (Roto 0), with the USS George Washington Carrier Strike Group
  • HMCS Winnipeg: April - October 2005 (Roto 1)
  • HMCS Ottawa: September 2006 - March 2007 (Roto 2), with the USS Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group
  • HMCS Charlottetown: November 2007 - April 2008 (Roto 3), with the USS Harry S Truman Carrier Strike Group
  • Task Force Arabian Sea: April 2008 - October 2008 (Roto 4); HMCS Iroquois from Halifax deployed with HMC ships Protecteur and Calgary from Esquimalt.

From 3 June to 15 September 2008, Commodore Bob Davidson of Canada commanded CTF-150 with his flag in HMCS Iroquois.

From October 2001 to December 2003, ship deployments to CTF-150 and other task forces engaged in the campaign against terrorism were conducted under Operation APOLLO.

Combined Maritime Forces

CMF was formed in February 2002 as the coalition headquarters responsible for coordinating and leading naval participation in the international campaign against terrorism. In 2008, its mandate expanded to include counter-piracy in response to the rising incidence of attacks on merchant shipping in the USCENTCOM area of responsibility.

Headquartered in Bahrain, CMF is commanded by the U.S. Navy vice-admiral who is also the commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central (NAVCENT) and the United States Fifth Fleet, both also headquartered in Bahrain.

CMF has three operational flotillas:

  • CTF-150, responsible for maritime security and counter-terrorism;
  • CTF-151, responsible for counter-piracy; and
  • CTF-152, responsible for security and cooperation in the Persian Gulf.

External links

Government of Canada

Coalition forces