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.
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:
Warships engaged in maritime security operations also assist mariners in distress and engaging regional and coalition navies.
Since May 2012, Her Majesty's Canadian ships serving with CTF-150 have been deployed on Operation ARTEMIS.
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:
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.
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: