The Republic of Korea Ship (ROKS) Kang Gam Chan took part in a joint exercise with the ESPS Cristobal Colon in the Gulf of Aden.ROKS Kang Gam Chan is currently supporting Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) counter piracy operations in the Gulf,
The exercise tested communication and information sharing systems (LINK-EX), practiced tactical manoeuvring and helicopter cross-deck movements.
LINK-EX is a key capability for ships working with coalition forces as it tests the ability to share information on potential targets. The exercise also checked the transmission and reception status of the shared information and calculated the maximum reachable distance between the two ships. This also allowed the ROKS Kang Gam Chan to confirm there were no irregularities in the system.
ROKS Kang Gam Chan and ESPS Cristobal Colon challenged their skills in tactical manoeuvring by adopting various formations and changing course in accordance to tactical signals.
An information sharing meeting was held on board ESPS Cristobal Colon to inform and improve both ships’ counter-piracy capabilities. Topics discussed included the protection of international vessels, current and future projections of pirate activity and the sharing of views of how to cooperate in counter-piracy operations. Ship visits was also held to enhance the understanding of each other’s operations.
The need to transit between the two ships provided a perfect opportunity to test ROKS Kang Gam Chan’s Lynx helicopter’s cross-deck skills. It took off and landed twice while ferrying participants to and from the meeting.
Following the exercise, Captain Yu Byeong-ju, the Commander of the ROK Naval Escort Task Group said: “Today’s exercise marks our 6th joint exercise with another coalition force, and this exercise with the flagship of NATO Operation Ocean Shield, provided an opportunity to strengthen our interoperability and enhance our cooperation with other forces in maintaining maritime security.”
Rear Admiral Eugene Diaz Del Rio, the Commander of the CTF-508 said: “Collaboration and exchanges between coalition forces, like these exercises, are vital to overcoming piracy. Today’s efforts were very beneficial.”
ROKS Kang Gam Chan has conducted seven maritime security operations, nine convoy operations and provided safety navigation support to over 280 vessels since its deployment to the Gulf of Aden last February.
ESPS Cristobal Colon is the flagship of NATO Operation Ocean Shield.