The commander of Combined Task Force 151 has met with members of a Japanese Aerial Surveillance unit in Djibouti recently, and praised their efforts combating piracy in the Gulf of Aden.
Singapore’s Rear Admiral Giam Hock Koon met the team from the Japan Self-Defense Force to highlight the ever-present need for international cooperation in counter-piracy efforts.
The CTF 151 delegation were met by the commander of Japan’s P3 Deployment Air Force for Counter-Piracy Enforcement (DAPE), Captain Akira Kinoshita, and Captain Masami Katoh, head of the Japan Self-Defense Force Liaison Office in Djibouti,
Captain Kinoshita provided an overview of the air squadron’s capabilities and successes as well as a tour of their operating facility.
The P3’s mission is to, conduct surveillance and reconnaissance, exchange information with other countries and ultimately keep vessels transiting the Gulf of Aden safe.
“The surveillance that the Japanese P3 unit provides has proven a key factor in disrupting and deterring piracy,” said Rear Admiral Giam.
Major Dennis Lim from the Singapore Air Forcetold the Japanese team: “Your cooperation and information-sharing is a significant contribution to the overall multinational counter-piracy effort. DAPE’s collaboration is crucial to our mission success.
“The thousands of sorties-the tens of thousands of hours you fly-and the immediate support and exceptional intelligence reports we receive of suspect activity or threats are just a few examples of your critical role.”
CTF 151’s planning officer Lieutenant Commander Adam Muckalt, from the Royal Australian Navy, concurred, adding: “I look forward to planning for even greater cooperation in our mission to counter piracy”
Kinoshita also led the delegation on a tour of the facility including living quarters, recreation areas and the dining hall.
“I was very impressed entering your camp. This is a very well-run facility, and we learned a lot about how DAPE has thoroughly considered both mission and crew welfare requirements in designing it,” said Singapore’s Captain Michelle Chia.
Rear Admiral Giam noted that the P3-C unit would be passing through Singapore during their rotations, and wished them all the best for their visit and a safe voyage home.
The Singapore-led CTF 151 Command Team is embarked on Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker Fort Victoria. Combined Maritime Forces established CTF-151 in January 2009 specifically to deter, disrupt and thwart piracy operations.
It is a multinational task force that conducts counter-piracy operations in and around the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and the Red Sea.
Command of CTF 151 rotates through the 27 nations of the Combined Maritime Forces every three months, with the current team due to hand over to a team from the Pakistani navy in June.