July 16, 2021 – Commodore Dan Charlebois RCN (pictured above) and his massive staff of almost three dozen transferred command of the Combined Maritime Forces’ (CMF) Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150) yesterday to Captain Brendon Clark of the Royal New Zealand Navy during a change of command ceremony held at Naval Support Activity Bahrain. There was no word if Clark brought over 30 staff with him from New Zealand.
After the RCAF experience in Kuwait, where many officers admitting they were there to qualify for a medal, leaving some with nothing to do. In one instance, an RCAF officer took it upon himself to spend all his time trying to catch personnel wearing American equipment.
The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) contribution to CMF, a 34 nation naval partnership that counters illicit non-state actors on the high seas and promotes security, stability, and prosperity across approximately 3.2 million square miles of international waters, is designated Operation ARTEMIS.
Commodore Charlebois took command in January 2021, when Canada deployed 31 CAF personnel and one Department of National Defence civilian employee to CMF’s Headquarters in Bahrain to lead CTF 150. HMCS Calgary and a CP-140 long-range patrol aircraft air detachment also supported this deployment and greatly contributed to CTF 150’s record-breaking drug seizures over the past six months.
A total of 34 counter-narcotics seizures occurred during Canada’s command of CTF 150, yielding more than 55 000 kg of illicit narcotics and setting records for the number of interdictions and amounts seized by CTF 150. A single interdiction by HMCS Calgary that seized over 1 200 kg of heroin was the largest heroin bust in CMF’s history. Calgary’s 17 drug busts also set a record for the number of seizures made by single ship serving with CMF, with a wholesale value of the seized narcotics being in excess of $90 million (USD).
Thankfully this is the last time Canada will be commanding CTF 150, which will required the bloated officer corps to find new ways of obtaining medals.