New Zealand has taken command of an international counter-piracy task force for the next four months.
Command of Combined Task Force 151 was passed from the Republic of Korea Navy to an RNZN Command Staff led by Commodore Tony Millar.
Twelve RNZN staff, an NZ Army lawyer, and three international staff are now responsible for the counter-piracy task force, based in Bahrain.
New Zealand will co-ordinate international maritime efforts to disrupt piracy and armed robbery at sea and build regional capacity through the 30 participating nations, as well as Task Groups from Nato and the European Union.
“As the vast majority of New Zealand’s trade by value is transferred by sea, maritime security is integral to New Zealand,” Mr Millar says.
“Our four-month deployment reinforces the NZ Government’s commitment to global maritime security.”
“Many of our team have deployed to the Gulf region before and that experience will be invaluable in ensuring that our mission runs smoothly.”
An RNZAF P-3K2 Orion and a detachment of 56 personnel are already deployed in support of the task force’s operations in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean.
Earlier this year, HMNZS Te Mana completed over three months of counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden region.