CMF’s Combined Task Force 151 has led an operation, in close cooperation with EU NAVFOR Somali, to deter, disrupt and deny acts of piracy off the coast of Somalia.
With the onset of seasonal weather conditions which are now more suitable for skiffs and small boats, coupled with recent piracy activities in first half of 2017, the threat of piracy remains real. In order counter this threat, CTF 151 led ‘Focused Operation Dynamic Kharif’, which was conducted off the coast of Somalia between 14 – 28 September 2017.
This tremendous multinational effort resulted in piracy remaining deterred, the maritime community being reassured and freedom of navigation ensured. Rear Admiral Emre Sezenler, Commander of CTF 151, expressed his satisfaction and said that: “Overall Focused Operation Dynamic Kharif remained very successful and contributed to enhanced situational awareness, coordinated Counter Piracy Operations, assurance to safety and freedom of navigation and outreach to local fishing communities”.
Multi-national naval units, aircraft and personnel ashore from Turkey, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Japan, Germany, Spain, New Zealand, Netherlands, Italy, USA and UK all participated. The warships and their aircraft at sea were actively supported by United States ships, USNS Washington Chambers and USNS Tippecanoe, for the wide range of logistic requirements needed to sustain the whole force over this period. Alongside these multi-role forces, United Kingdom Marine Trade Operations (UKMTO) in Dubai, as well as the Unclassified Remote Sensing Situation Awareness (URSA) system operated by Canada (at CMF), also contributed to the overall operational results of Operation Dynamic Kharif.
A total of more than 950 merchant ships, dhows, skiffs and fishing vessels were monitored in the vicinity of Horn of Africa and Somali Basin. This included 9 approach and assist operations, which were safely conducted despite unfavorable weather conditions and maximized the outreach to local fishing communities. Surface units clocked more than 1280 hours in the designated sea areas.
Maritime Patrol Aircraft of Japan, Spain, Germany, New Zealand and Pakistan operating from Djibouti, Salalah (Oman) and Karachi (Pakistan) undertook 25 missions and clocked more than 200 flight hours combined; and in addition helicopters from Turkey, Pakistan, Japan and Republic of Korea undertook 20 sorties with more than 30 hours of flight operations. These efforts were further enhanced by URSA surveillance support over the designated sea areas. Information regarding the Focused Operation was disseminated to hundreds of merchant ships through face to face briefs conducted by UKMTO staff and weekly briefs published by UKMTO.