>Turkey to command CTF-151

>The US Fifth Fleet announced on Friday it is transferring command of the counter-piracy international naval force CTF 151 to the Turkish Navy on May 3.

“The US Navy will transfer command of Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 to the Turkish Navy on Sunday May 3, 2009,” Lieutenant Nathan Christensen of the Bahrain-based US Fifth Fleet said in a statement.

Rear Admiral Michelle Howard will hand over control of the task force to Turkish Rear Admiral Caner Bener in a ceremony aboard the Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain.

CTF 151, launched in January 2009, is one of three international naval forces operating permanently in the region. The others are the European Union’s “EUNAVFOR Atlanta” and French-commanded Combined Task Force 150. Currently NATO’s Standing Naval Maritime Group One is also in the region but will sail to East Asia due course.

According to blog Information Dissemination the current composition of CTF-151 is as follows:

  • USS Boxer (LHD 4)
  • USS Bainbridge (DDG 96)
  • USNS Lewis and Clark (T-AKE 1)
  • USS Gettysburg (CG 64)
  • TCG Giresun (F 491)
  • HMS Portland (F79)
  • ROKS Munmu the Great (DDH 976)

This week the Singaporean tank landing ship, RSS Persistence (LST 209), joined CTF-151 as well.

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