Photo credit: Combined Maritime Forces (CMF)

South Korea Navy assumed command of a multinational anti-piracy naval task force from Brazil, during a ceremony at the U.S. Navy base in Bahrain on February 16.

Rear Admiral Ko Seung-bum of the South Korean Navy assumed command of Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 from Brazilian Navy Rear Admiral Nelson de Oliveira Leite.

Leite served as CTF 151’s commander since August and led several initiatives over the past six months, including two major maritime operations and 18 partner engagements that fostered regional collaboration on piracy suppression efforts.

Established in 2009, CTF 151 is one of four task forces under Combined Maritime Forces, the largest naval partnership in the world with 38 member-nations and partners. CTF 151 is headquartered in Bahrain with U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. Fifth Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces.

CTF 151 conducts maritime security operations to deter, disrupt and suppress piracy and armed robbery at sea, outside the Horn of Africa.

After assuming command from the Brazilian Navy, the South Korean Navy is leading CTF 151 for the sixth time.

“As the commander of CTF 151, I will do my best to succeed in our counter-piracy operation, whilst in close cooperation with all related entities. I will utilize the lessons the Republic of Korea Navy has accumulated operating in the Gulf of Aden,” said Rear Admiral Ko Seung-bum.

Ko has served in the South Korea Navy for nearly 30 years and was most recently completed a tour as an operational division director on the South Korea’s joint staff.