Royal Navy takes command of Coalition Forces in Northern Arabian Gulf

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Royal Navy takes command of Coalition Forces in Northern Arabian Gulf

Post by Admin on Tue 11 Mar 2008, 6:20 pm


The Royal Navy has taken command of the Coalition Maritime Forces protecting Iraq's vital oil platforms in the Northern Arabian Gulf.

Commodore Duncan Potts RN has taken over command of Combined Task Force 158 (CTF158) from Commodore Allan du Toit of the Royal Australian Navy. Command of the Task Force is rotated between the UK, US and Australia. The UK last held command of CTF158 in July 2007 and will command the Task Force until August.

Combined Task Force 158's primary mission in the Northern Arabian Gulf is maintaining security in and around both the Al Basrah and Khawr Al Amaya oil terminals in support of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1723 which charges the Multi-National Force with the responsibility and the authority to maintain security and stability in Iraqi territorial waters and is also in response to the Iraqi Government's request for security support.

The two terminals generate 93% of Iraq's GDP (Gross Domestic Product) so their protection is vital to the country's growth.
The CTF158 mission also includes training the Iraqi Navy and Marines to develop their own capabilities to assume the protection task themselves. The Royal Navy currently employs Type 22 frigate HMS Campeltown and Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel Cardigan Bay in defence of the platforms and as a base for the training of Iraqi personnel.

Speaking at the handover ceremony on the Khawr Al Amaya oil terminal yesterday, Monday 10 March 2008, Commodore Potts said:

"My staff and I have trained hard and feel prepared for this period of command. We have a very important mission to conduct and I am content that I have the right people, ships and aircraft to robustly achieve the level of stability that is needed in this area.

"Whilst Iraqi territorial waters may be small, I see them as the umbilical that feeds much of the Iraqi economy. Consequently the security of the offshore oil infrastructure and shipping into and out of Iraq will be my constant focus."

Provided By: MOD - http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/MilitaryOperations/RoyalNavyTakesCommandOfCoalitionForcesInNorthernArabianGulf.htm

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