The Republic of Korea Ship (ROKS) Munmu the Great has quickly settled down to business in the Gulf of Aden leading Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151).
Since June 2014 command of CTF-151 has been aboard the Republic of Korea Flag Ship under the leadership Rear Admiral Cho Young Joo. The task force is undertaking operations in the Gulf of Aden to disrupt piracy while engaging with regional and international partners.
Rear Admiral Young Joo has considerable knowledge of the region having successfully commanded ROKS Choi Young in the region in 2011. To enhance this knowledge, in the past two weeks Munmu the Great has undertaken a number of port visits and met with NATO and European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) ships in order to exchange information and share knowledge.
In late June the crew of Munmu the Great hosted the commander of CTF-508, Commodore Aage Jensen, Royal Danish Navy. During his visit Commodore Jensen met members of the ships company before spending time with Rear Admiral Young Joo discussing closer cooperation and coordination between CMF and NATO task forces. In a region where there are security concerns both at sea and on land, the two commanders were able to discuss the security situation in Djibouti and current piracy trends that could affect local maritime activity.
In early July Rear Admiral Young Joo hosted a bilateral meeting with the commander of CTF-465, Rear Admiral Jürgen zur Mühlen, Federal German Republic Navy, on board Munmu the Great. The commanders took the opportunity to talk about criminal networks operating in the Gulf of Aden region and their possible involvement in piracy. They also discussed relationships with independent deployers, those navies that join the counter piracy effort outside of CMF, EU NAVFOR and NATO forces.
Having discussed the possible extension of the CTF-465 mandate and force flow issues with Rear Admiral zur Mühlen, Rear Admiral Young Joo thanked CTF-465 for its continued cooperation, adding: “This important maritime area is becoming more stable and there is an increased degree of safety from attack by Somalian pirates helped by our ongoing cooperation.”
The Republic of Korea Navy will retain command of CTF-151 until August 2014.