By Lieutenant (Navy) Linda Coleman, Public Affairs Officer, CTF 150
Commodore Darren Garnier, Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), Commander of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, and four supporting members of the Canada-led CTF 150 Task Force, traveled to Muscat, Oman to visit the Royal Oman Navy and Royal Oman Police Coast Guard as part of a key leadership engagement on December 30, 2018.
This was Cmdre Garnier’s first official visit outside of Bahrain since taking command of CTF 150 in early December. The purpose of the visit was twofold: to build and strengthen naval relationships with Oman, and to discuss Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) and CTF 150 regional initiatives in maritime security.
The engagement started with a visit to meet the Commander of the Royal Oman Police Coast Guard, Staff Colonel Ali Saif Khalfan Al Muqbali. This was followed by a visit with the Deputy Fleet Commander of the Royal Oman Navy, Commodore Absullah Alselemy, at the Royal Oman Navy Headquarters.
“This was a great opportunity to learn more about each other and discuss items of mutual interest,” said Cmdre Garnier. “Maritime security is a common interest shared by nations around the world. Deterring and denying terrorists the use of the seas as a venue for illicit activities in the Middle East and around the world is a team effort, as no single state can shoulder this burden alone.”
The visit included a tour of the Oman Maritime Security Centre – a recently opened, state-of-the-art facility which highlights Oman’s increasing commitment to regional security.
“We look forward to further maritime cooperation and capacity building opportunities with Oman and its Maritime Security Centre to enhance interoperability and promote maritime security and stability in the region,” added Cmdre Garnier.
This key leadership engagement also provided Cmdre Garnier with an opportunity to thank Oman for its support in hosting RCN ships in the past, and in the future, and to discuss opportunities for cooperative deployments between the RCN and Royal Oman Navy.
While in Oman, Cmdre Garnier also visited Her Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) Ballarat, which was on a port visit in Muscat. HMAS Ballarat is currently operating under CTF 150 command, conducting counter-terrorism and maritime security operations in the northern Arabian Sea.
CTF 150 is under Canadian Armed Forces command, and is supported by personnel of the Royal Australian Navy, from December 2018 until April 2019.