Maritime relations close an oceanic gap

Members of the Royal Australian Navy, including the Commander of Combined Task Force 150 and HMAS Melbourne, have concluded a visit to Seychelles.

HMAS Melbourne, currently deployed to the Middle East and Indian Ocean region, played host to an official reception honouring the maritime ties between Australia and Seychelles last month.

Seychelles and Australia share a strong interest in combating illegal maritime activities in the region and are working together to defeat terrorism, prevent piracy, reduce the illegal trafficking of people and drugs, and promote the maritime environment as a safe place for mariners with legitimate business.

Guest speaker Peter Sinon, Minister for Natural Resources and Industry of the Republic of Seychelles, expressed his gratitude for the significant contribution made by Australia to the development of Seychelles, and stressed the country’s ongoing commitment as a strategic partner in the Indian Ocean.

“These last years, we have witnessed an intensification of our already rich ties with Australia,” Minister Sinon said.

“I would like to reaffirm the deep commitment of Seychelles to working towards the building of a stronger partnership with Australia towards a global order that is marked by peace, security and equity.”

Also present was the Royal Australian Navy officer presently in charge of Combined Maritime Forces’ maritime security operations in the Middle East and Indian Ocean regions.

Commodore Daryl Bates, Commander of Combined Task Force 150, made the journey from his operational headquarters in Bahrain to meet with the Chief of the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces, Brigadier Leopold Payet.

Commodore Bates and Brigadier Payet discussed opportunities for visiting Combined Maritime Forces member navies to grow the capability of the Seychelles Coast Guard through partnered maritime exercises.

“As a member of the Combined Maritime Forces, Seychelles have shown a genuine commitment to the promotion of security, stability and prosperity in the maritime environment,” Commodore Bates said.

“No matter how large or small the country, it is the collaborative efforts of many nations and maritime security agencies that will suppress those who wish to use sea lanes for illicit purposes.”

The Combined Maritime Forces is a 30 nation naval partnership, based in Bahrain. Combined Task Force 150 is one of three task forces operated by the Combined Maritime Forces.

Combined Task Force 150’s mission is to conduct maritime security operations in order to counter terrorist acts and related illegal activities, which terrorists use to fund or conceal their movements. Australia assumed command of Combined Task Force 150 in December 2013.


Original Article