8th SHADE meeting sees largest international participation so farOctober 1, 2009 - 10:25
A meeting of the SHADE Group met in Bahrain on 29 Sept 2009 to discuss practical aspects of counter-piracy off the coast of Somalia.
SHADE was established in December 2008 as a means of sharing ‘best practice’, conduct informal discussions and deconflict the activities of those nations and organisations involved in military counter-piracy operations in the region. Initially, SHADE participation involved the Combined Maritime Forces based in Bahrain, the European Naval Force EU NAVFOR and NATO but it grew quickly to include many regional nations and other navies operating under independent mandates, such as China, India, Japan and Russia.
SHADE is a voluntary international military group that meets on a monthly basis in Bahrain. In all, 26 nations were present, along with 3 Coalitions and representatives from industry. This meeting welcomed Ukraine as the newest participant.
A number of good examples of practical coordination at sea were highlighted in the meeting.
- On 24 July the EU NAVFOR Italian warship MAESTRALE with the NATO Turkish warship GEDIZ and the Indian warship GODAVARI worked closely together to deter a possible pirate attack.
- On 22 August, when in a combined action including EU NAVFOR ships, fast rhibs, a helicopter and a Japanese maritime patrol aircraft, a suspected pirate skiff was stopped and disarmed. (-> read more)
- On 26 August EU NAVFOR ship FRIDTJOF NANSEN and a helicopter, in cooperation with a South Korean navy helicopter from CTF 151 responded to an emergency call. (-> read more)
- On Wednesday 26th of August the commander of the European Union Naval Force Somalia, Commodore Pieter Bindt RNLN (CTF 465) met with Rear Admiral Scott Sanders USN, Commander of the Combined Task Force 151 (CTF 151) on board the CTF 151 flagship USS ANZIO (CG68). (-> read more)
The meeting achieved broad consensus on a set of terms of reference, agreed to explore opportunities to coordinate logistics and resources, commissioned further work on improving communications with merchant shipping and campaign effectiveness.
SHADE achievements over the last 9 months include:
- Establishment of an Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) in the Gulf of Aden, which was endorsed by IMO in July 2009
- Development of the IRTC Coordination Guide
- Agreement on the utility of a common geographical reference system
- Support for the innovative military communications system MERCURY, which allows all SHADE participants to coordinate together in real time
- Emergence of coordinated focused operations off the coast of Somalia
- Improving coordination with industry
- Command opportunities and assets being shared across SHADE participants – e.g. Singaporean and Turkish commanders operating from US warships
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