ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Navy yesterday handed over command of Combined Task Force 151(Counter Piracy Force) to Republic of Singapore Navy at an elegant Change of Command Ceremony held at Combined Maritime Forces Headquarters, Bahrain.
A Pakistan Navy spokesperson said that Rear Admiral Zahid Ilyas handed over the command to Rear Admiral Cheng Kwok Chien. The command handing over ceremony was graced by Chief of Singapore Navy and ambassadors from various countries. Addressing on the occasion, Rear Admiral Zahid Ilyas, who has led CTF-151 since 21 December 2015, thanked his staff and the Combined Maritime Force for their support. “Working in this unique multinational naval partnership was immensely a pleasant experience for me and my staff. I had the opportunity to have ships and aircraft from Japan, Republic of Korea and Pakistan in my Task Force and I am thankful for their valued contribution for reassurance to maritime community of freedom of Navigation at sea,” he added.
The relinquishing Commander further said that today we are passing through uncertain and unpredictable times, where diverse threats are posed to the seagoing community on the high seas.
Of these, piracy, although low at the moment, continues to present an intricate and extraordinary threat and still impacts energy security, freedom of navigation and global security and stability. But no one nation alone can resolve this menace, as piracy is a shared challenge which can only be addressed through collaborative and comprehensive international efforts.
Commodore William Warrender of Royal British Navy; Deputy Commander Combined Maritime Forces over viewed the handover ceremony and noting the achievements of CTF-151, said: “PN’s accomplishments are numerous and impressive. The hard work of the ships and sailors during your Command tenure has made it possible to keep the waters of the Combined Maritime Forces’ Area of Operation safer than ever before.
“Your resolve to educate the maritime community about each other’s practices to develop better understanding is a line to take for your successors,” Commodore William Warrender said.
In the light of UN Security Council resolutions, 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. It was the seventh time that Pakistan Navy proudly reported, “Counter Piracy Mission Accomplished.”