Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, now under the Command of Bahrain, has been very active in recent weeks, successfully deepening Combined Maritime Forces’ (CMFs’) relationships, both at sea and ashore.
Commodore Yusuf Almannaie, of the Royal Bahrain Navy and current Commander of CTF151, received a high level visit from a Japanese delegation after they had attended the recent Manama Dialogue in Bahrain. Japan continues to be a strong member of CMF, contributing its highly effective ships and P3 maritime patrol aircraft to CTF 151’s mission, countering piracy, protecting global maritime commerce and securing freedom of navigation.
The delegation included Mr Keitaro Ohno, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Defense, H.E Mr. Kiyoshi Asako, Ambassador of Japan and RADM Tomohiko Madono, the Deputy Director General of Japan’s Defense Plans and Policy Department.
During the visit the Bahraini and Japanese leadership teams discussed the future hand over of command of CTF151 from Bahrain to Japan, which will occur on 1st March 2018. The current CTF151 command team also delivered a short situational update brief about the progress of their counter piracy mission.
Bahrain, while currently undertaking its first command of CTF 151, builds upon the successes of the countries that have gone before them in command, benefiting from their experience and knowledge. The visit strengthened the relationship between these two nations as they, in partnership with other members of CMF, unite to build a safer and more secure maritime environment across the region.
Flag Verification Boardings (FVB) are a critical activity in maritime security operations and, with its counter-piracy focus, ships under the command of CTF151 conduct FVBs regularly. CTF151 recently conducted a FVB and found itself in a position to provide humanitarian assistance to a Yemeni dhow. The dhow, with 8 persons on board, was sighted stationary in the Gulf of Aden and had not responded to calls via marine radio. At the time of the FVB, the dhow had been adrift for 10 days due to an engine defect. Food and water levels on the dhow had been expended.
CTF151 vessel Pakistani Naval Ship Tariq provided the dhow’s crew with fresh, dry and tinned provisions, ready meals and drinking water. The dhow was also towed to a position close the Somalia coast from where the rescue was completed with the support of local Coast Guard.
CCTF151’s Commander, Cdre Yusuf Almannaei, explained: “CMF’s policy is not only to fight piracy but also to help people and protect them in open seas. Our mission is also to build good relationships with mariners and send the message that the presence of military ships is to the benefit of mariners.”