The Republic of Philippine Navy assumed command of a multinational counter-piracy task force during a change-of-command ceremony Aug. 21 at the U.S. Navy base here. Republic of Korea Navy Rear Admiral Ko Seung-bum turned over command of Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 to Republic of Philippine Navy Capt. Mateo Carido. CTF 151 is one of five operational task forces under Combined Maritime Forces, a multi-national naval partnership of 38 nations, which promotes security, stability and prosperity across approximately 3.2 million square miles of international waters, encompassing some of the world’s most important shipping lanes. During Ko’s tenure, CTF 151 frequently conducted joint operations with Task Force (TF) 465. TF 465 is a multinational naval unit from European Union Naval Forces focusing on countering piracy in the region.
“This is the first time the Philippine Navy will be leading CTF 151. My staff will be made up of members of many of the CMF-affiliated nations. Our presence here demonstrates our unwavering commitment to maintaining maritime security and recognizing the importance of coordination and collaboration,” said Capt. Mateo Carido.
“We have focused on expanding participation in international efforts, which has yielded tangible results,” said Rear Admiral Ko Seung-bum.
CMF and EUNF task forces regularly collaborate to enhance interoperability through combined patrols and joint training. Established in 2009, CTF 151 conducts maritime security operations to deter, disrupt and suppress piracy and armed robbery at sea, outside the Horn of Africa. The task force regularly collaborates with more than 19 countries on the counter-piracy mission throughout the region. Carido, a 27-year veteran of the Republic of Philippine Navy, previously served as the Armed Forces of the Philippines senior national representative to CMF. The CTF 151 staff include representatives from the Philippines, Australia, Brazil, Italy, Japan, Jordan, South Korea, Spain, Singapore, Thailand and Turkiye. Combined Maritime Forces is headquartered in Bahrain with U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and U.S. 5th Fleet