CTF 151’s flagship, ROKS WANG GEON, made a port visit to Djibouti from July 23-25, 2012. RDML Anho Chung, Commander of CTF 151 (CCTF-151), took advantage of the port visit to meet with both his international military counterparts and key regional leaders to discuss the piracy threat and to thank his partners for their continued support of CMF and the counter-piracy mission.
RDML Chung met with the Captain Akira Shikishima, Commander of the Japanese P3 Deployment Air Force for Counter-Piracy Enforcement (DAPE), at the Japanese Self Defense Force facility in Djibouti. The Japanese P3 DAPE mission provides vital support to international counter-piracy forces by providing Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft (MPRA) over the Internationally Recognized Transit Corridor (IRTC), located in the Gulf of Aden. RDML Chung thanked the Japanese forces for the intelligence they provide, which allows CMF, NATO and EU counter-piracy forces to identify real time threats to merchant vessels. In addition to their contribution to international counter-piracy efforts, South Korea and Japan also conduct another aspect of their counter-piracy mission by operating as “independent deployers” conducting escort missions for merchant vessels traveling in the IRTC. This visit cemented an already close partnership between CTF 151 and the Japanese.
RDML Chung then called upon Brigadier General Eugene Haase, Deputy Commander of Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA). CJTF-HOA’s mission is to enhance partner nation capacity, promote regional stability, and dissuade conflict in regional African countries. This directly correlates with CTF 151’s mission to engage with regional and other partners to build capacity in order to protect global maritime commerce and secure freedom of navigation.
CTF 151’s commander then met with Colonel Abdourahman Aden Cher, the Chief of the Djiboutian Navy. In their meeting they discussed how the Djiboutian Navy could deepen their existing contribution to maritime security operations in their region. Finally, RDML Chung met with Mr. Hassan Said, the Head of the Djiboutian National Security Agency, to thank Djibouti for their continued support of multinational forces conducting regional engagement and counter-piracy in the region. Mr. Hassan acknowledged that global commerce is threatened by piracy, and that merchant shipping is vital for the Djiboutian economy. He fully supports the CTF 151 mission and said Djibouti would do it its part to support the counter-piracy mission in the region.
RDML Chung, CCTF-151, stated after the port visit: “In our overall mission to build the capacities of our regional partners, the first step is mutual understanding – sharing knowledge of the mission, and learning the circumstances of the areas where we operate. Overall it was very productive and useful to meet with the regional authorities in Djibouti as well as with our military partners there. This was a very satisfactory step forward in our mission.”