A Japanese Rear Admiral and his headquarters staff have met the Commander of the Royal Bahrain Naval Force and visited a South Korean warship, three weeks before the end of their operational tour.
Rear Admiral Tatsuya Fukuda JMSDF, Commander of Combined Task Force 151 (CTF151), has been based in Bahrain since early March with his multinational staff of 25 people from 11 countries including both Bahraini and South Korean naval personnel.
Image: RADM Fukuda at the helm of TS RBNS Al Budaiya
During a South Korean port visit to Bahrain, the Commanding Officer of destroyer ROKS Choi Young, Captain Kyung-Ryul Kim, visited the headquarters of CTF151, accompanied by Captain Sung-Hyeok Choi, Commanding Officer of destroyer ROKS Dae Jo Yeong. Later, at a reception on board ROKS Choi Young, Rear Admiral Fukuda met Dr Shaikh Abdullah Bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Bahriain’s Undersecretary of International Affairs, and His Excellency Koo Hyunmo, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea.
Image: RADM Fukuda in discussion with His Excellency RADM Sheikh Khalifa bin Abdullah al Khalifa
In the same week, His Excellency Rear Admiral Sheikh Khalifa Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, Commander of the Royal Bahrain Naval Force (RBNF), welcomed Rear Admiral Fukuda during the Task Force Commander’s visit to the Royal Bahrain Naval Force, accompanied by His Excellency Mr Kiyoshi Asako, Ambassador of Japan.
Image: RoK Ambassador, CO CHY and DJY greets Bahrain Undersecretary of International Affairs (Dr. Shaikh Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Khalifa)
A tour of the Al Manama Class corvette RBNS Al Muharraq and training vessel RBNS Al-Budaiya demonstrated to Rear Admiral Fukuda some of the RBNF’s capabilities. He was shown around the vessels by the Commanding Officer of RBNS Al Muharraq, Captain Arif Al-Rouye.
The meetings enabled Rear Admiral Fukuda to express his thanks to both Bahrain and South Korea for their support and assistance. ROKS Choi Young has made a significant contribution to counter piracy operations in the region over the last four months and ROKS Dae Jo Yeong will now join CTF151. Bahrain continues to support CTF151’s counter piracy operations, having contributed two personnel to the international team.
Image: RoK Ambassador, CO CHY and DJY greets CCTF151 (RADM Fukuda)
In discussions with Rear Admiral Fukuda, the South Korean officers were able to discuss escort procedures for merchant vessels, counter piracy operations and maritime security. As Japan and South Korea are both maritime nations operating in the region, there was agreement about the importance of freedom of navigation for merchant ships. These thoughts were echoed in discussions with the Commander of the Royal Bahrain Naval Force, who stressed the importance of working together in a multinational environment.
Rear Admiral Fukuda said: “It is important for counter piracy operations that maritime forces work together with international partners.” Commenting on the week’s events, he added: “These visits gave me confidence that our nations can continue to operate alongside each other to confront future challenges to freedom of navigation on the high seas.”