MANAMA, Bahrain – Rear Admiral Beom Rim Lee, Commander, Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, met with the Djiboutian Minister of Defence and the head of the country’s naval forces during a port visit to Djibouti this week. Rear Admiral Lee is embarked on ROKS Kang Gam Chan, CTF-151 flagship.

During the meeting with Defence Minister Ougoureh Kifleh Ahmed, the two noted the strategic, geographical, commercial and communications position of Djibouti, and both agreed to continued and increased support of each other’s mission to secure the safe passage of merchant and private vessels through the Gulf of Aden.

“Recently, pirates have become active in the southern Red Sea, placing further logistical strain on the international forces focused on deterring and disrupting piracy in the area,” Lee said. “Djibouti’s commitment to provide assistance however and wherever it can, is greatly appreciated by Combined Task Force 151, as I’m sure it is the international community at large that seeks free trade via all sea routes.”

The head of Djibouti’s Naval force, Admiral Abdurrahman Aden Cher and Rear Admiral Lee discussed the growth of Djibouti’s navy in recent years and plans to grow the force further in the near future. Rear Admiral Lee explained that South Korea’s economic and military history is similar to what Djibouti is currently experiencing, and offered both professional training for Djiboutian Sailors, as well as “lessons-learned” perspective for growth.

CTF-151 is the multinational task force established by Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) in January 2009 to conduct counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and the east coast of Somalia. CMF, headquartered in Manama, Bahrain, patrols more than 2.5 million square miles of international waters to conduct both integrated and coordinated operations with a common purpose: to increase the security and prosperity of the region by working together for a better future.