On the 25th and 26th June, the recently appointed Commander of Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, Rear Admiral Byeong-Ju Yu, Republic of Korea Navy, travelled to Djibouti to meet with key representatives from the Djiboutian Armed Forces and foreign military personnel based in the country.
These meetings are a key component of CTF 151’s mission to promote cooperation, information sharing and capacity building with Combined Maritime Forces’ regional partners to help combat piracy and ensure the safe, free flow of legitimate commerce.
During the first day, Rear Admiral Yu visited the Commander of the Djibouti Navy, Capitaine de Fregate Ahmed Daher Djama and the Commander of the Djibouti Coast Guard, Colonel Wais Omar Bogoreh, where he stressed his appreciation for the dedication and successful achievements of both the Djibouti Navy and Coastguard to the Combined Maritime Forces.
This was followed by a visit to a local facility accommodating a Japanese P3 detachment (Deployed Air Force for Counter-Piracy Enforcement or ‘DAPE’), where Rear Admiral Yu had the opportunity to meet the Commander, Colonel Takurou Sekiya and other Japanese military personnel attached to the Unit. These engagements re-enforce the vital lines of communication required between the organisations to ensure mutual support for each other in the fight against piracy at sea.
On the second day of his busy schedule Rear Admiral Yu met with Commander Jose Penuela of the Spanish Air Force Maritime Patrol Reconnaissance Aircraft (MPRA) detachment; the Commander of the French Forces (FFDj) in Djibouti, Major General Eric Gernez and the Deputy Commander of the Combined Joint task force (CJTF-Horn of Africa) Brigadier General James R Kriesel. At these meetings, Rear Admiral Yu stressed the importance of being ready to deal with any emergency incidents and save lives at sea – evidence of this was seen recently when personnel from the dhow Awatif were rescued by the Japanese ship JS Asagiri after it was re-tasked from CTF 151 duties to attend a mayday call. The leaders also discussed ways to enhance support for each other such as conducting Joint Exercises with CJTF–HoA and the FFDj, and how to strengthen the seamless coordination between EU NAVFOR and CTF151 for effective counter-piracy operations.