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Published:January 31st, 2007 05:52 EST
CNO Presents Pakistani Admiral with Legion of Merit Medal

CNO Presents Pakistani Admiral with Legion of Merit Medal

By SOP newswire

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Mullen presented Pakistani Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Afzal Tahir with the Legion of Merit medal during an award ceremony Jan. 24.

Tahir received the award in recognition of his efforts in promoting bilateral cooperation in regional maritime and security affairs. These efforts allowed U.S. and coalition vessels to successfully conduct maritime security operations (MSO) within the U.S. 5th Fleet’s area of operation.

Pakistan became the first regional country to lead one of three coalition maritime task forces when it commanded CTF 150 from April to August 2006. As members of this task force, Pakistani navy ships operated as part of CTF 150 in the Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean.

In his remarks, Mullen extended his congratulations to Tahir and lauded his role in further strengthening the relations between the two navies. He said that Tahir’s exemplary commitment, dynamic leadership and exceptional devotion to duty made him a perfect candidate for the award.

"It was my great honor to bestow this medal on Admiral Tahir,” Mullen said. “He’s a superb leader, who by his skill and intellect vastly improved maritime security and safety in the gulf region. I am grateful for his service, and I am proud - our Sailors are proud - to have served with him. We are prouder still to count him a friend."

Coalition forces conduct maritime security operations under international maritime conventions to ensure security and safety in international waters so that all commercial shipping can operate freely while transiting the region.

CTF 150, established near the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom, is comprised of naval ships from numerous other coalition nations, including Germany, France, United Kingdom and the United States.

For related news, visit the Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cusnc/.

For related news, visit the Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cusnc/.

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Zeltakalns, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs