Bringing his busy engagement schedule to a close, Commander Combined Task Force 151 (CCTF 151) and regional counter-piracy coordinator, Rear Admiral Daisuke Kajimoto, Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) has returned from a 2 day visit to Seychelles.

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Joseph Bibi of REFLECS3 with RAdm Kajimoto and RCOC

As a longstanding member of CMF, Seychelles provides valuable Maritime Patrol Reconnaissance Aircraft (MPRA) support in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and, crucially, the legal finish capability that allows for the prosecution of suspected pirates.  RAdm Kajimoto sought to develop the interaction between CMF and Seychelles and to gain an appreciation for the developing maritime security capabilities of Indian Ocean nations.

RAdm Kajimoto discussed the key aspects of Seychelles’ maritime security agenda with the Executive Head of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Mr Barry Faure, before continuing his programme with a visit to the Regional Fusion and Law Enforcement Centre for Safety and Security at Sea (REFLECS3).  The REFLECS3 director, Mr Joseph Bibi said: “Information sharing between Indian Ocean nations is critical in ensuring maritime security over such a large area

Noting the similarly large area of responsibility in which CTF 151 operates, RAdm Kajimoto said: ”Well coordinated information exchange is a key part of the situational awareness that facilitates maritime security; CMF is extremely grateful for the work undertaken at REFLECS3 to ensure that such exchange is possible across the region.”

REFLECS3 also hosts the Anti-Piracy Unit from the Indian Ocean Commission Maritime Security Programme.  The team explained how they are working to develop information sharing and asset coordination agreements between the Indian Ocean nations in order to realise a collaborative and resource efficient maritime security framework in the region.

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 The REFLECS3 meeting

RAdm Kajimoto also met Commander Seychelles Coast Guard, Colonel Simon Dine and the Chief of the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces, Brigadier Leopold Payet to discuss opportunities for interaction with CMF units.

CCTF 151 returns to Bahrain entering the final month of his command.  To date there have been no successful pirate attacks, but the units of CTF 151 remain vigilant and well-established in the operational rhythm, having recently concluded the focused operation Three Arrows.