The Combined Maritime Forces’ Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 welcomed the Commanding Officer of JS Ariake, the Japanese Destroyer which has been assigned to work with the task force.

Rear Admiral Nejat Inanir, Commander of CTF 151, welcomed the Japanese ship’s Commanding Officer, Commander Ezawa Naritaka, at a meeting at the Bahrain-based headquarters.

Japan has an enduring commitment to counter piracy operations, having deployed warships to the Gulf of Aden for many years. These deployments ensure safe transits for commercial merchant vessels passing through the region and the area known as the Maritime Security Transit Corridor. The Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force also deploys Maritime Patrol Aircraft in the region to oversee all shipping vessels, providing an early warning system to the nearest warship if any piracy activity is observed.

The JS Ariake is a Murasame class destroyer, launched in October 2000. She has a semi stealth design, powered by gas turbines which give her a speed of 30kts. Her helicopter is a Mitsubishi SH-60, similar to the Sikorski S-70 design. This is ideal for conducting maritime reconnaissance patrols as it is able to identify potential piracy activity from a huge range and respond accordingly.

Rear Admiral Inanir said: “I believe that the continuous presence of our forces and wills in critical areas are fundamental for the success of Counter Piracy operations. In this aspect, JS Ariake is a vital asset to CTF 151 because she convoys vessels in the High Risk Area and provides a force that can collect information and deter piracy activities in our operational area.”

“I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere gratitude and welcome to JS Ariake for participating in Counter Piracy operations as a supporting unit of CTF 151,” he added.

Commander Ezawa Naritaka enjoyed some Turkish hospitality at his visit to the Bahrain HQ of CTF151.

The Ariake takes over from the JS Ohnami, another destroyer, which has been deployed on counter-piracy operations in the region for over six months.