Commander Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 Rear-Admiral (RADM) Saw Shi Tat has paid special tribute to the Japanese units contributing to Maritime Security Operations in the Gulf during a visit to Djibouti.

RADM Saw met Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s (JMSDF) Captain (CAPT) Josuke Nakamura, Commander Escort Division 5 and Commanding Officer of Japan’s Deployment Surface Force for Counter-Piracy Enforcement (DSPE), and Commander (CDR) Yuichi Haeno, Commanding Officer of JS Akebono, when he visited the Port of Djibouti. JS Akebono is the current surface asset deployed by the JMSDF for counter-piracy operations in Gulf of Aden. JS Akebono is under the command of CTF 151 and tasked with the role of patrolling and surveying the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC). The visit also provided the opportunity for RADM Saw to meet with officers and crew of JS Akebono to understand the challenges they face, and personally thank them for their continued hard work and contribution towards counter-piracy operations.

20180722-CCTF 151 hosted onboard JS Akebono during KLE

Commander CTF 151 RADM Saw Shi Tat (centre) was hosted by CAPT Josuke Nakamura (second from left) during this visit to JS Akebono.

RADM Saw also met with CDR Hideki Takahashi, Commanding Officer of Japan’s Deployment Air Force for Counter-Piracy Enforcement (DAPE), and Colonel Takayasu Iwakami, Commanding Officer of Japan’s Deployment Support Group for Counter-Piracy Enforcement Forces (DGPE), when he visited the Japan Self Defense Force’s (JSDF) military base in Djibouti. The DAPE operates the P3-C Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft (MPRA) which conducts surveillance sorties in the vicinity of the Horn of Africa and Gulf of Aden in support of CTF151’s counter-piracy efforts in the region, while the DGPE provides logistics support to the DSPE and DAPE. RADM Saw acknowledged that the information provided by the MPRA over the area of operations is vital in building a comprehensive maritime picture, which allows the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), the independent deployers, and EU NAVFOR counter-piracy forces to identify real-time threats to merchant vessels.

20180722-CCTF 151 delgation at DAPE and DGPE during KLE

The CTF 151 delegation visiting the DAPE and DGPE during the visit in Djibouti.

20180722-CCTF 151 greeted by CO DAPE and CO DGPE during KLE

RADM Saw (right) greeted by CO DAPE, CDR Takahashi (centre) and CO DGPE, Colonel Takayasu Iwakami (left) upon arrival at the JSDF military base in Djibouti.

At the end of the visits, RADM Saw said, “I am truly impressed by the professionalism and competency of the Japanese units under the command of CTF 151, and their contributions to the Task Force are indeed paramount to the success of our mission. I am grateful for the close friendship and the solid support rendered by the JMSDF.”

20180722-CTF 151 air planners in discussion with JMSDF on KLE

CTF 151 Air Planners, Captain (CPT) Wang Guo Wei (left) from the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) and Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Takashi Ito (right) from the JMSDF discussing on the employment of DAPE’s P3C MPRA.

RADM Saw also attributed the good working relationship between CTF 151 and the JSDF forces deployed in Djibouti to the JMSDF officer, Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Takashi Ito, who is currently embedded as the Air Planner with the Singapore-led CTF 151 Command Team. RADM Saw added, “LCDR Ito has been instrumental in ensuring that our common objectives are met, and that the CTF 151 HQ is able to work efficiently with the Japanese units to deliver the desired effects. He is an outstanding officer and we are truly privileged to have him on our team.”

20180722-CCTF 151 exchanges a gift with Commander Escort Division 5 on KLE

RADM Saw exchanging gifts with Commander Escort Division Five, CAPT Josuke Nakamura.

20180726-CCTF151 meets Col Iwakemi and Cdr Takahashi

RADM Saw meeting with Commanding Officer (CO) of Japan’s Deployment Support Group for Counter-Piracy Enforcement Forces (DGPE) Colonel Takayasu Iwakami (centre), and CO of Japan’s Deployment Air Force for Counter-piracy Enforcement (DAPE) CDR Hideki Takahashi (right) in Djibouti.