Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

February 29, 2008 16:50 ET

Canada to Lead Combined Task Force 150

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 29, 2008) - Minister of National Defence Peter MacKay today announced that Canada will be next in the rotation to lead Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150), a naval coalition task force currently operating in the Middle East from June until September 2008.

This deployment includes three Canadian warships and more than 850 sailors, soldiers and airmen and women. They will be assigned to monitor shipping, and help detect, deter and protect against unauthorized activity.

Canada's rotation of command of the Task Force will be followed by the Danes who are assuming command in September.

"This significant contribution to CTF 150 shows Canada's dedication towards making the world a safer place," said Minister MacKay. "Denying terrorists the use of the maritime environment as a venue for illicit operations translates into added security for Canadians at home and abroad."

Her Majesty's Canadian Ships (HMCS) Iroquois, a destroyer, will act as the command platform for the task force. HMCS Calgary, a frigate, and HMCS Protecteur, an auxiliary oil replenishment ship will round out this fourth rotation of Operation ALTAIR, Canada's contribution to the maritime portion of the global war on terrorism.

"This command demonstrates the world-class level of our nation's maritime defence capabilities," said General Rick Hillier, Chief of Defence Staff. "The competence and professionalism of our sailors and aviators are renowned worldwide, and our expertise in maritime interdiction operations will benefit our allies also contributing to the maritime coalition."

Commodore Bob Davidson, along with his staff aboard HMCS Iroquois will lead the Canadian Task Group on its assigned mission.

CTF 150 is typically comprised of ships from such nations as France, Germany, Pakistan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Notes for news and assignment editors: For more information on Operation ALTAIR, please visit: http://www.cefcom.forces.gc.ca/site/ops/altair/index_e.asp

For additional information on CTF 150, please visit the U.S. Naval Forces Command website at: http://www.cusnc.navy.mil/command/index.html

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