MANAMA, Bahrain – 108 Representatives from the militaries of 28 countries, law enforcement agencies, shipping industry, and various governments met in Bahrain on May 10th to discuss counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and the Somali Basin. This 19th Shared Awareness and Deconfliction (SHADE) meeting was chaired by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and co chaired by the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) and European Union Naval Forces (EUNAVFOR).

This meeting heard reports from the NATO Task Force Commander on the current operational situation, as well as reports from various working groups. Representatives agreed to further coordination through better communications procedures, synchronized operations, and capacity building endeavors throughout the region. Additionally, industry representatives briefed on the status of “Best Management Practices 4” (BMP4). BMP gives guidance and advice to merchants on recommended self protection methods and is coordinated and published by industry for world-wide distribution.

The SHADE meeting was established in December, 2008, in order to coordinate the efforts of the myriad military forces conducting counter piracy in the region. Tactical and Operational commanders meet with their counter-parts to provide awareness of current and planned operations, discuss threat analysis, and provide feedback to the Contact Group for Piracy off the Coast of Somalia.

SHADE meets regularly in Bahrain which is home of the Combined Maritime Forces. Through regular coordination meetings the militaries have gained valuable insight in countering the threat of piracy to global shipping.