On July 15, 2012, Rear Admiral Anho Chung, CCTF 151 took over from Commodore Ben Bekkering, CCTF 508 (NATO Operation Ocean Shield) as Gulf of Aden Coordinator. At that time Commodore Bekkering assumed the duties of Somali Basin Coordinator, the position held by Rear Admiral Chung from June 18, 2012 through July 15, 2012.
Rear Admiral Chung’s command period as Somali Basin Coordinator was relatively quiet due to the poor weather conditions associated with the southwest monsoon, which affects the region from June to September. Previous CTF 151 commands have noted that piracy activity decreases in periods of poor weather, as pirate skiffs and dhows are more difficult to operate in high sea states and strong winds. For that reason, Rear Admiral Chung anticipates that his Gulf of Aden Coordinator period from July through September will be busy, since the Gulf of Aden and the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) are relatively protected from the southwest monsoon weather, and are still navigable by pirate skiffs and dhows.
CTF 151, CTF 508 and CTF 465 (EUNAVFOR Operation Atalanta) rotate coordination duties in the Somali Basin and Gulf of Aden in order to maximize task force coverage of the operating area and deconflict surface units and air reconnaissance assets. All three task forces aim to protect freedom of navigation throughout the Gulf of Aden, Southern Red Sea, Arabian Sea and Somali Basin, an area encompassing 2.5 million square miles.
Rear Admiral Chung and Commodore Bekkering were able to meet in Salalah, Oman before their turnover. The visit gave the commanders the opportunity to exchange experiences face-to-face.