Commander Combined Task Force 151 (CCTF151) Commodore Zahid Ilyas SI(M) S.Bt recently visited Djibouti to promote further cooperation between Djibouti and Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).

Commodore Zahid Ilyas met with the Djiboutian Deputy Chief of Navy, Lieutenant Commander Ali Abdoulaye Bouh, in recognition of Djibouti’s valuable support of Coalition Forces. Lieutenant Commander Ali Abdoulaye Bouh thanked CTF151 for its contribution to capacity building within the Joint Area of Operations and acknowledged CTF151’s effort in tackling piracy in the region. The meeting also provided the opportunity to deepen further cooperation between CMF and Djibouti.

Commander Combined Task Force 151, Commodore Zahid Ilyas meets the Djibouti Deputy Navy Chief, Lieutenant Commander Ali Abdoulaye

During his visit, Commodore Zahid Ilyas also met with the Djibouti Coast Guard Commander, Colonel Wais Omar Bogoreh. They discussed plans to increase the area of operations of the Coast Guard and improve working relationships between CMF and the Djibouti Coast Guard.

Continuing his tour, Commodore Zahid Ilyas then visited JS Suzunami and JS Makinami, who were alongside in Djibouti port. He was warmly welcomed by Captain Takeshi Yoshioka, Commander of the 23rd Escort Division of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) in the Gulf of Aden. Acknowledging Japanese contributions towards counter piracy activities, Commodore Zahid Ilyas thanked JMSDF for their efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to a distressed dhow (Al Hood) in the area, and for giving medical assistance to crew members of MV Hawassa and MV Cronus Leader last month.

The Commodore also visited the Japanese Deployment Ground Force for Counter-Piracy Enforcement, the Deployment Air Force for Counter-Piracy Enforcement, the Spanish Air Force Maritime Patrol Reconnaissance Aircraft and the French forces in Djibouti. He conveyed his gratitude to respective Commanders for their invaluable efforts in support of Counter Piracy operations.

Commodore Zahid Ilyas concluded his trip with a visit to the United Nations World Food Program office, where he met the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) representative in Djibouti. They exchanged their views on immigrant handling processes during ‘Safety of Life at Sea’ (SOLAS) situations.