The Japanese warship Ariake will be heading home after completing five months of counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. Led by Commander Naritaka Ezawa, JS Ariake, a Murasame Class Destroyer, has conducted safeguarding duties for hundreds of merchant ships on their transit through the region. Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 Commander, Commodore Abdul Munib SI (M) has offered special thanks to the Ariake for her support to the Task Force’s important mission.

JS Ariake safeguarding a merchant vessel in the Gulf of Aden (Photo: CTF-151)

During her time in support of CTF-150, JS Ariake participated in additional focused operations to deter piracy activities. The Ariake crew has also engaged in several Passage Exercises, demonstrating their ability to operate alongside warships from other nations.  The ability to operate together, despite a potential language barrier, is key to the success of CTF-151 in combating piracy. The more warships use a common set of standard operating procedures, the greater the flexibility provided at the command level within CTF-151 Headquarters in Bahrain. This also encourages better cohesion and understanding when multinational operations are conducted.

JS Ariake (CMF – CTF-151) and ESPS Castilla (EUNAVFOR – CTF-465) operating together against piracy (Photo: CTF-151)
JS Ariake in a “cross-deck” exercise with a Pakistani helicopter during Focused Operation Tahaffuz (Photo: CTF-151)

The Japan Maritime Self Defense Force has deployed another destroyer, the JS Setogiri, to continue the vital work to secure freedom of navigation for the millions of tons of merchant shipping that transits through the region annually. “JS Ariake’s dedication and professionalism have been essential for successful anti-piracy operations. Thank you very much for supporting CTF-151 in so many ways,” said Cdre Munib.

Cdre Munib welcomed JS Setogiri and Commander Shinya Sato on joining CTF-151 and extended his thanks to the JMSDF. “Their contribution to this international effort ensures that global maritime trade is not impacted by the threat of piracy activities, especially in the Gulf of Aden,” said Cdre Munib.

JS Setogiri sailing with calm sea and fair winds (Photo: CTF-151)

The last successful attack in the High-Risk Area was in 2017, however the situation in Somalia remains unstable. The threat of famine, potential terrorist activity and the Covid-19 pandemic are all destabilizing factors and present a risk to the security of the region.

The international community have a presence in the Gulf of Aden to prevent piracy returning to the region.  Both Ariake and Setogiri are significant contributors to this mission.

Commander of CTF-151, Commodore Abdul Munib, with Commanding Officer of JS Setogiri, Commander Shinya Sato (Photo: CTF-151)