United Kingdom Royal Navy Capt. James Byron turned over command of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 to French Navy Capt. Yannick Bossu. CTF 150 is one of five operational task forces under Combined Maritime Forces, the world’s largest international naval partnership that consists of 38 nations.
CTF 150 conducts maritime security operations in the Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden to help ensure freedom of navigation by deterring and disrupting destabilizing maritime activity.
Under Byron’s leadership, forces supporting CTF 150 intercepted $320 million in illegal drugs that included heroin, hashish and methamphetamine. Multinational forces have seized a total estimated value of $1.3 billion in illicit narcotics since 2021.
“When we arrived in Bahrain at the start of January, my team and I promised to do everything we could to intercept illegal narcotics transiting the maritime routes across the Indian Ocean,” said Byron. “The men and women of [CTF 150] deserve huge credit.”
Byron’s headquarters staff included personnel from Italy, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
CTF 150’s new commander, Bossu, arrives in Bahrain having served in the French Navy for 30 years. He was previously the deputy for current operations at the French Joint Strategic Operations Center.
“It is an honor to assume command of CTF 150 today on behalf of France and pick up the baton from a successful UK team,” said Basso. “My staff – consisting of people from the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Bahrain and France – and I are looking forward to working toward enhancing regional partnerships and countering illegal trafficking in the Indian Ocean.”
Combined Maritime Forces is headquartered in Bahrain with U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and U.S. 5th Fleet.