A team of 25 Royal Australian Navy Officers and Sailors will depart this week for the Middle East to form the Command Group of a Coalition Naval Task Force engaged in Maritime Security operations throughout the region.
Combined Task Force 150 conducts counter terrorism and maritime security operations in the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and the Gulf of Oman.
As Commander of the Task Force, Commodore Richard Menhinick will have tactical control of Coalition ships and aircraft from many nations, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Iraq, Pakistan, Germany and Australia's HMAS Stuart.
Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Mark Evans says it is the first time an Australian Officer has been assigned to this coalition command position - one of the most senior naval appointments in the Middle East Area of Operations.
"Commodore Menhinick and his team will be responsible for a combined crew of up to 1600 personnel; it is a very important role and a great endorsement for the professionalism of the Royal Australian Navy," Lieutenant General Evans said.