Continued success in deterring pirates will come from combined involvement from the wider maritime community according to the Commander of Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, Rear Admiral Oğuz Karaman, from the Turkish Navy.
During flagship TCG Gemlik’s port visit to Muscat, Oman, Rear Admiral Karaman highlighted the importance of involving fishing and merchant vessels in building the most comprehensive battle space picture in order to counter piracy.
“We are just one piece of the solution out here. CTF 151 is part of a large maritime community which is working to maintain safe waterways and ensure piracy attacks are suppressed,” said Rear Admiral Karaman.
“Information sharing is one of the great capabilities of the cooperative maritime community. The information we share is real time and it’s much better than Google maps or Wikipedia as we have access to people on scene who provide the information directly to us.”
“Working with independent deployers who escort convoys is one of the unique aspects of CTF 151 and, in coordination with regional nations and other task groups, the priority of ensuring the safety of human lives and free commerce passage will be achieved.”
Rear Admiral Karaman had the opportunity during his visit to Oman to meet the Commander of the Royal Navy of Oman (CRNO) Rear Admiral Abdullah bin Khamis bin Abdullah Al Raisi. In their meeting they discussed the progress of counter-piracy operations and the benefits of a comprehensive approach to the mission.
“There is outstanding work being conducted in the maritime region by the Royal Navy of Oman and we agreed on continuous sharing of information in order to keep the oceans safe and pirate-free.”
Acknowledging that there has been a decrease in piracy activity over the monsoon period, Rear Admiral Karaman said that it was far too early to claim any form of success.
“The so-called war on pirates is not over but CTF 151 is ready. We are watching. We are listening.
And we know what is going on both over land and more significantly, in the maritime environment. Our foot is heavily planted on the gas pedal. We are watching and pirates should know this.”