Combined Maritime Forces have continued to promote regional cooperation through the process of ‘Key Leader Engagements’.
Rear Admiral (RADM) Tatsuya Fukuda, Commander of Combined Task Force 151 (CTF151), visited the Seychelles and Pakistan recently to conduct a series of key meetings with the leaders of military and civilian organisations involved in counter piracy operations.
Image: RADM Fukuda speaks with members of the Seychelles Coast Guard and Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force.
In the Seychelles, amongst other military leaders, he met Brigadier Leopold Payet, the Chief of Seychelles People’s Defence Force, and Colonel Simon Dine, Commanding Officer of the Seychelles Coast Guard.
RADM Fukuda similarly had positive meetings with senior representatives from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the leadership of the Prison Service, which currently detains a number of convicted pirates. He also met with the Seychelles Attorney General to discuss the successful prosecution of pirates.
Image: RADM Fukuda presents Colonel Simon Dine, the Commanding Officer of the Seychelles Coast Guard with a CTF151 plaque.
The visit also gave the admiral an opportunity to discuss the work of Regional Fusion and Law Enforcement Centre for Safety and Security at Sea (REFLECS3) based in the Seychelles, and the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS), currently chaired by the Seychelles. The two organisations are critical in combatting piracy in the region.
During his visit to Islamabad, RADM Fukuda met Pakistan’s Secretary Defence, Lt Gen Zamir ul Assan Shah, and a number of senior naval officers, providing him with the opportunity to thank Pakistan for its ongoing commitment to CMF, CTF151 and regional maritime security including counter piracy.
Image: RADM Fukuda meets with the Chief of Seychelles People’s Defence Force, Brigadier Leopold Payet.
RADM Fukuda’s discussion with the Secretary Defence confirmed the close cooperation between Japan and Pakistan. He said: “This meeting confirmed the strong leadership in Pakistan, its support for CMF and its commitment to CMF operations.”
Asked about his recent visits, RADM Fukuda added: “Key leadership engagement is an important role for commanders of Combined Task Forces in CMF, allowing us to meet both civilian and military leaders. These visits have enabled us to demonstrate to the Seychelles and Pakistan how much CMF values their ongoing contribution and to discuss further cooperation and capacity building in the region.”
To combat any potential return to piracy off the coast of Somalia, nations such as Pakistan and the Seychelles are reassured by CMFs mission and operational capability, and are able to work closely with CMF, contributing assets, sharing information and building a recognised maritime picture across the region.