The Republic of Korea Ship (ROKS) Kang Gam Chan carried out training exercises with the Federal German Ship (FGS) Hessen on 26 February, the first counter-piracy exercise between the two nations. The ROKS Kang Gam Chan is part of the Republic of Korea Naval Escort Task Group 15 and is currently supporting Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) counter-piracy operations as part of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150.

Tactical Maneuvering exercise between ROKS Kang Gam Chan and FGS Hessen

The exercise started with both ships undertaking a series of manoeuvring exercises, with coordinated changes of course and speed. This was observed from the air by both ships’ helicopters.

For the second phase of the training, the ROKS Kang Gam Chan’s Boarding Team, consisting of Korean Navy Special Forces, captured the ‘pirates’ on the FGS Hessen which played the role of a merchant vessel. The exercise ended with the medical evacuation of ‘casualties’ by the FGS Hessen’s helicopter and cross-deck operations between the two ships’ helicopters.

ROKS Kang Gam Chan Lynx helicopter landing on the deck of FGS Hessen

A post exercise debrief was held aboard FGS Hessen which allowed both ships to discuss how to better collaborate in counter-piracy operations.

This was the first naval exercise between the two navies and provided an excellent opportunity for them to enhance their counter-piracy capabilities and improve their proficiency in combined operations.

Boarding Team of ROK Naval Escort Task Group 15 embark on the merchant vessel to conduct rescue operations

Captain Yu, Byeong-ju, the Commander of the ROK Naval Escort Task Group said: “Collaboration among foreign naval warships is vital for the safety of Korean flagged ships and the maintenance of peace in the international waters. This exercise was the first between our two navies, which is a cornerstone for the future military cooperation and exchanges.”

Gift exchange between the Commanding Officers

Following the successful completion of the exercise, Commander Dirk Jacobus, the Commanding Officer of the FGS Hessen, said, “I was deeply impressed by the swiftness and professionalism displayed by the ROKS Kang Gam Chan’s Special Forces Boarding Team when they seized the bridge.”

CTF-151’s mission is to disrupt piracy and armed robbery at sea and to engage with regional and other partners to build capacity and improve relevant capabilities in order to protect global maritime commerce and secure freedom of navigation.