Royal Navy Commodore Bruce Williams assumed command of Combined Task Force 58, the multinational coalition force responsible for conducting maritime security operations (MSO) in the North Arabian Gulf, Nov. 18...Related article here on Mobile Secuiryt Detachment 31 and the portection of the Iraqi oil platforms:
...MSO seek to preserve the free and secure use of the world’s oceans by legitimate mariners, and prevent terrorists from attempting to use the maritime environment as a venue for attack or as a medium to transport personnel, weapons or other illicit material.
“The strength of a coalition is greater than the sum of its parts,” said Williams. “In terms of the coalition here in the northern Arabian Gulf, the real demonstration of that concerted strength and concerted capability is the fact that here I am, as a British one star, in charge of a force made up of Australian, American, United Kingdom and Iraqi forces able to operate together.”
As part of MSO in the North Arabian Gulf, CTF 58 is also entrusted with the security of Iraq's Al Basra and Khwar Al Amaya oil terminals. These two oil terminals account for a significant percentage of Iraq's revenue and are vital to the Iraqi rebuilding process.
“The role of CTF 58 is to assist the Iraqis sustain their territory and to ensure that it's economic infrastructure is unharmed by those who wish to see the current progress in democracy to fail,” said Williams.
In an interview Nov. 20, the Officer in Charge of MSD 31, Lt. Garth Kaliczak, said his most important mission during his unit’s tour is the security of Iraq’s two oil terminals in the Persian Gulf.Earlier post on protecting the terminals here and at link therein.
"Without these platforms, [the Iraqis] would not be able to fund much of the reconstruction they are doing right now, and without this oil income, there is definitely lack of resources for them to get started on the things they need to do,” said Kaliczak. “Being a part of this is probably one of the most important things I've ever done in my life. Helping in the rebuilding and reconstitution of a nation is probably the most rewarding thing I'll ever do.”
ABOT and KAAOT account for a significant percentage of Iraq's revenue and play a vital role in the rebuilding process.
MSD 31, based in San Diego, serves a dual role on the oil platforms. They are charged not only with the security of Iraq’s oil terminals, but they are also training their Iraqi counterparts to provide security for the oil platforms.