ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Navy handed over the Command of multinational Combined Task Force 151 (Counter Piracy Task Force) to Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force at an impressive Change of Command Ceremony held at Combined Maritime Forces HQs Bahrain.

Commander Muhammad Shuaib of Pakistan Navy handed over the Command to Rear Admiral, Cheng Kwok Chien of Japanese Navy. The Ceremony was presided by Commander Combined Maritime Forces, Vice Admiral Kevin Michael Donegan of United States Navy. Pakistani Ambassador to Bahrain, Javed Malik and several high-ranking civilian and military officials from coalition countries also graced the occasion.

At the outset of the ceremony, Cdre Muhammad Shuaib, outgoing CCTF-151 presented resume of CTF-151’s recent accomplishments in which he applauded the whole hearted support and cooperation of coalition partners, which enabled him to discharge his duties in a professional manner. He also lauded his staff included officers from Turkey, Japan and CMF HQ and thanked the navies of Japan, Korea and Turkey for contributing ships and aircraft to the Task Force during the Pakistan Navy Command tenure.

The relinquishing Commander further added that regional and global maritime security situation remains in flux and is challenging. In this situation the importance of maritime security regimes, which promote collaboration and cooperation at sea amongst navies cannot be over emphasized. He reiterated that Pakistan Navy would continue to work with international navies to promote global peace and security. He further underscored that Pakistan Navy remains committed to ensure maritime security, trade and freedom of navigation for all legitimate uses. Citing the recently concluded Multinational Naval Exercise.

AMAN-17, under the auspices of Pakistan Navy held at Karachi, wherein more than 37 countries participated, Cdre Muhammad Shuaib said that PN has always been initiating efforts to promote peace and harmony amongst the global maritime community.
Vice Admiral Donegan, Commander Combined Maritime Forces while lauding Pakistan Navy's contributions and achievements of CTF-151, said that the hard work of Pakistan Navy officers and sailors during Command tenure has made it possible to keep the waters of the Combined Maritime Forces Area of operations safer than ever before.

In light of UN Security Council Resolution, CTF-151's mission is to deter, disrupt and suppress 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.

Pakistan Navy concluded her eighth successful command of CTF-151 which is manifestation of trust and respect enjoyed by Pakistan Navy amongst coalition partners. In addition, Pakistan Navy has also commanded CTF-150 nine times. Over the years, Pakistan navy has not only served the maritime interests of Pakistan but has also actively participated in international coalition operations.