KARACHI: Pakistan Navy has taken over the Command of Multinational Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151) for the seventh time. The Command was handed over to Pakistan Navy at a formal and impressive Change of Command ceremony held at Bahrain. Commodore Zahid Ilyas took over the command of CTF-151 from Rear Admiral AYHAN BAY of the Turkish Navy. Vice Admiral Kevin Donegan, the Commander of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), presided over the Change of Command ceremony. A number of distinguished military and civilian dignitaries, including ambassador of Pakistan to Bahrain, Turkish Ambassador and officers from various countries were also present on the occasion.
CTF 151 is responsible for counter piracy operations off the coast of Somalia and Horn of Africa under the overall ambit of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). Pakistan Navy in the backdrop of a UN Security Council resolution joined CTF-151 in year 2009 to combat piracy and since then is an integral part of it. Pakistan Navy has previously commanded the multinational force six time.
Pakistan has remained forthcoming and committed in the fight against terrorism and piracy in the face of heavy odds. As a responsible state, Pakistan is playing a pivotal role for maritime security and stability in the region. The near permanent presence of Pakistan Navy units in the Area of Responsibility (AOR) has greatly helped in shaping a secure environment for freedom of navigation in the region.