Commodore Jeremy Blunden, Commander of Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) and Commodore Ali Abbas, Commander, Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151) met with senior maritime leaders during separate trips to Djibouti designed to enhance Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) regional engagement efforts.
The visits aimed to improve mutual understanding, enhance cooperation and discuss potential opportunities for future exercises between CMF and Djibouti’s Navy and Coast Guard.
The CTF-150 delegation met the Chief of the Djibouti Navy, Colonel Abdourahman Aden Cher and the Commandant of the Djibouti Coast Guard, Lieutenant Colonel Wais Omar Bogoreh.
Commodore Blunden noted: “Djibouti occupies a strategic geographical position bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Bab al-Mandeb Strait. Maritime security in this region is vitally important for the security of global maritime trade.
“Our meetings with the Djiboutian Navy and Coast Guard were very positive. We look forward to building on this discussion and working alongside our Djiboutian colleagues in future.”
The CTF-151 delegation also met with Colonel Abdourahman Aden Cher. In addition, they visited Mr Hassan Said Khaireh, Director, Djibouti National Security Council and Lt Mohamed Adawa Mohamed, Deputy Commander of the Djibouti Coast Guard.
Discussions focussed on how to best achieve regional maritime security and combat piracy. They emphasised the need for close coordination between CMF and Djiboutian authorities to effectively address challenges.
Commodore Blunden went on to visit the Djibouti-based EU Naval Force Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft (MPRA) detachments from Germany and Spain. He was given an overview on equipment capabilities and a guided tour of the German and Spanish aircraft.
Commodore Abbas visited Japan’s P3 Deployment Air Force for Counter-Piracy Enforcement (DAPE). Commanding Officer of DAPE, Captain Hiromi Asanuma, provided an overview of the unit and the air squadron’s capabilities followed by a tour of the facilities.
Commodore Abbas noted the key contribution these air assets make to the work of CTF-151. He said: “The air surveillance provided by DAPE’s air assets is a crucial element in disrupting and deterring piracy.”
As part of a packed schedule, Commodore Abbas visited the Japanese Ship (JS) Inazuma alongside in Djibouti. He met Captain Koji Tachikawa, Commander of 8th Escort Division for DSPE (Deployment Surface Force for Counter Piracy Enforcement); Commander Shunichiro Kachi, Commanding Officer JS Inazuma; Commander Mitsuteru Matsuda, Commanding Officer JS Umigiri and Commander Hutoshi Setoguchi, Coast Guard Commanding Officer.
Commodore Abbas and the Japanese commanders discussed maritime security operations and the Commodore noted his forces’ appreciation of Japanese efforts to deter piracy and ensure navigational safety in the region.
The Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) at Camp Lemonier was also visited by Commodore Abbas. CJTF-HOA is a US military headquarters countering violent extremist organisations in East Africa.
During the visit, the Commodore met Captain Shawn Duane (USN), CJTF-HOA Chief of Staff, to share perspectives on regional security. They acknowledged that security efforts need to be coordinated across air, sea and land.
Commodore Abbas said: “A key element of CTF-151’s continued success in deterring piracy is partnerships with other nations and organisations that share the same goals. All of these visits, where we explore better joint working practices and opportunities to further develop interoperability in maritime security, are of fundamental importance. The significant reduction in piracy incidents in the region is but one example of what effective collaboration can achieve.”
CTF-150’s mission is to promote maritime security in order to counter terrorist acts and related illegal activities, which terrorists use to fund or conceal their movements.
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.