Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 has conducted a joint operation with partners from across the international community, both military and non-military, aimed at encouraging the maritime community to work together to promote legitimate trade and fair use of the sea in the Horn of Africa region.
The operation, coordinated by CTF151, was a multinational, multiagency operation involving ships and aircraft from 5 nations, the UK Maritime Trade Organisation and the European Union Naval force, (EU NAVFOR). The aim was to encourage cooperation and communication amongst all maritime users in the region, including fishermen and merchant vessels operating in the area.
Caption: An officer onboard JS AKIZUKI conducts a Maritime Awareness Call with a merchant vessel in the Gulf of Aden.
The Commander of CTF 151, Rear Admiral Hiroshi Ito, said: “This operation shows the commitment of the international community to the region. A great deal of work is being done to build capacity for regional maritime security but, until that work is done, the threat of piracy will remain. The international community is working together to help deliver a stable and secure environment for the maritime community.” He added: “We encourage all members of the maritime community whether fishermen or merchant vessels to work together, share information, and report suspicious activity. By working together we can protect legitimate trade and fair use of the sea.”
Caption: JS AKIZUKI taking part in the operation
Ships and aircraft from Pakistan, South Korea, Spain, USA and Japan took part in the operation which took place over 7 days covering areas in the Somali Basin, Gulf of Aden and Gulf of Oman.
Japan is leading CTF 151 for three months. Other nations working in direct support to the Japanese-led headquarters include Australia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Thailand, Turkey, UK, and USA.
Images captured by JDS AKIZUKI, Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force.