Rear Admiral Ishimaki of the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force handed over Command of CTF 151 to Rear Admiral Inanir of the Turkish Navy in a virtual ceremony today.
The CTF 151 (Combined Task Force 151) mission is to deter, disrupt and suppress piracy and armed robbery at sea. It is also designed to engage with regional and other partners to strengthen relevant capabilities in order to protect global maritime commerce and secure freedom of navigation.
Speaking via video link at the conference, Rear Admiral Ishimaki said, “I would like to thank all of my staff for their dedication and hard work during our time in Command of the task force.”
“Your exceptional work has been instrumental in keeping our area of operation safe for legitimate shipping and free from piracy.”
This was the fourth occasion that the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force has Commanded the task force to support CMF’s counter-piracy mission in the region. In April, CTF 151 conducted a successful counter-piracy operation, FO SHAHEEN, whilst also combatting the challenges of supporting ships and operations at sea throughout the global COVID-19 pandemic.
After four months of leading CTF 151, Rear Admiral Ishimaki passed the baton onto Rear Admiral Inanir of the Turkish Navy, who has an accomplished military record as both XO and Commander of the frigate TCG ORUÇREİS, Commander of Turkey’s first Destroyer Division before serving as Commodore of two operations and Turkey’s Maritime Task Force.
Rear Admiral Inanir said: “It is a great privilege and opportunity for me to lead CTF 151 on behalf of my country, and to work with such a professional team composed of dedicated colleagues from 9 CMF members, along with 13 colleagues from Turkey.”
Vice Admiral Jim Malloy, Commander of CMF, spoke of Japan’s contributions to the coalition: “Since the beginning of CMF, Japan has been one of the strongest and most capable partners in the counter-piracy mission, assuming command of CTF 151 for the fourth time in February.”
To the outgoing members of CTF 151, Malloy said: “You have completed your mission with energy and tenacity. I hope you return home knowing that you proudly represented Japan and the JMSDF with honor and commitment. You certainly made a difference defending this region from those who would threaten mariners at sea. So on behalf of CMF, thank you.”
He went on to welcome the Turkish-led task force: “I know that you too will uphold your great Navy’s highest standards of excellence in all that you do. I am grateful to you and look forward to your contributions to CTF 151 and our overall CMF.”
In August 2010 Turkey relieved Japan of Command as they are doing now. This will be Turkey’s sixth Command of the task force.