Naval Operations Library


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Combined Task Force 150

Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150) is one of three task forces operated by Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).

CTF 150’s mission is to promote maritime security in order to counter terrorist acts and related illegal activities, which terrorists use to fund or conceal their movements.

The activities of CTF 150 are a critical part of global counter-terrorism efforts, as terrorist organisations are denied a risk-free method of conducting operations or moving personnel, weapons or income-generating narcotics.

CTF 150’s Area of Operation includes some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes and spans over two million square miles, covering the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman (but not the Arabian Gulf, which is the responsibility of CTF 152). This area is a vital artery of world trade from the Far East to Europe and the US, with thousands of shipping movements per year including the transportation of over 27 million barrels of oil[1]. In addition, the AOR contains three narrow waterways, known as ‘choke points’, where vessels are required to pass closely between two shorelines. These include the Strait of Hormuz, Bab El Mandeb and the Suez Canal. This means ships have limited maneuverability and are more vulnerable than would otherwise be the case in open waters.


CTF 150 is a multinational task force. Participating nations have included: Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Republic of Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, and Turkey, United Kingdom and United States. Participation is purely voluntary and no nation is asked to carry out any duty that it is unwilling to conduct.

Combined Task Force 151

Combined Task Force 151 (CTF 151) is one of three task forces operated by Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).

In accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolutions, and in cooperation with CMF coastal states, CTF 151’s mission is to disrupt piracy at sea and to engage with regional and other partners to build capacity and improve relevant capabilities in order to protect global maritime commerce and secure freedom of navigation.

CTF 151 was established in January 2009 with a specific piracy mission-based mandate, currently endorsed under UNSCR 2316. More recently it has been empowered to conduct wider maritime security operations in support of CMF.


CTF 151 is a multinational force. Command is rotated between participating nations on a three to six month basis. Force flow in CTF 151 is constantly changing as a variety of countries assign vessels, aircraft and personnel to the task force.

Operation Atalanta


The European Union is concerned with the effect of Somali-based piracy and armed robbery at sea off the Horn of Africa and in the Western Indian Ocean. Somali piracy is characterised by criminals taking control of vessels transiting the High Risk Areas in the Region and extorting ransom money for the crew, the vessel and cargo; this bearing all features of organised crime. Crews held hostage by pirates often face a prolonged period of captivity. Moreover, piracy impacts on international trade and maritime security and on the economic activities and security of countries in the region.

As a result, and as part of the Comprehensive Approach to Somalia, in December 2008 the EU launched the European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia – Operation Atalanta

EU NAVFOR operates within the framework of the European Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and in accordance with relevant UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR) and International Law in response to the rising levels of piracy and armed robbery off the Horn of Africa and in the Western Indian Ocean.


  • Area of Operation: Southern Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and Western Indian Ocean.
  • Headquarters: Northwood (near London), United Kingdom
  • Starting date: December 2008
  • Troop strength: The composition of EU NAVFOR changes due to the rotation of units and varies according to size of warships. However, it typically comprises of approximately 1000 personnel, 3 – 4 warships and 2 Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft. For current deployed units, please see the EU Naval Force website.
  • Operation budget: Military assets and personnel are provided by the contributing states, with the running costs and personnel costs being met on a national basis. In addition, there is a common budget of EUR 5.5 million for 2017 agreed and monitored by the Athena Committee of Member States.
  • Contributing states: Participation in EU NAVFOR goes beyond EU Member States. Norway was the first non-EU country to contribute to the Operation, with a warship in 2009. Thereafter, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine have provided staff officers to the Operational Headquarters (OHQ) and Force Headquarters (FHQ). Ukraine contributed a warship early in 2014, New Zealand contributed an MPRA asset later the same year and in 2015, Colombia provided associated support.

Operation Kipion

Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean to promote enduring peace and stability in the region by the United Kingdom.

It is comprising: a command element, the United Kingdom Component Command (UKMCC), responsible for the wider region, across the Gulf and Indian Ocean, exercising command and control of the RN and RFA ships and cooperating within a 30-nation maritime force.

Operation Manitou

Operation MANITOU is the current name for the Australian Government’s contribution to support international efforts to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East Region (MER). An enhanced security environment ensures Australia’s safe and open access to the region while fostering trade and commerce.

Operation MANITOU is under command of Joint Task Force 633 (JTF633), which is the Australian National HQ in the Middle East Region. The Royal Australian Navy routinely sends a Major Fleet Unit (MFU) to the MER for assignment to Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).

    Combined Maritime Forces is composed of thirty two nations and has three principle task forces:

  • Combined Task Force 150, which conducts counter-terrorism and maritime security operations;
  • Combined Task Force 151, which conducts counter piracy operations;
  • Combined Task Force 152, which conducts Arabian Gulf maritime security operations.

The Australian Defence Organisation also provides a small staff that is permanently embedded within the Combined Maritime Forces Headquarters. This team, which presently comprises eight Royal Australian Navy personnel and one DSTG scientist, also undertakes the role of the Maritime Operations Support Group. The Royal Australian Navy also provides an International Liaison Officer for the UK Maritime Trade Operations Office and continues to deploy a major fleet unit (MFU) on rotation within the Middle East Region.

The RAN ship currently deployed is HMAS Newcastle. This is the 65th rotation of a Navy vessel to the MER since 1990.

The previous ship assigned to Operation MANITOU was HMAS Arunta.