Counter Piracy Commanders meet in Gulf of AdenOctober 26, 2009 - 17:09
The Commanding Officers of the three largest Counter Piracy Task Forces in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean met on board the EU NAVFOR flagship HNLMS Evertsen on October 26 in the International Recognized Transit Corridor in the Gulf of Aden, one of the world’s busiest shipping routes between the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.
The three commanding officers, Commodore Pieter Bindt, Force Commander of the European Naval Force Somalia (EU NAVFOR), Rear Admiral Scott Sanders, Commander of the Combined Task Force 151 (CTF 151) and Commodore Steve Chick, Commander of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG 2) met to evaluate their recent initiatives to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of their combined counter piracy forces and discuss ways ahead for continuous improvement. Despite three different, but overlapping, mandates they have a common goal to deter, disrupt and repress piracy.
Presently there are approximately 27 ships from 16 different nations conducting counter-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. They are part of EU NAVFOR, NATO, CTF 151, or nationally deployed, like Japan, China, India and Saudi Arabia. Piracy and its threat to commerce, regional stability, and freedom of navigation is something that governments, worldwide, are concerned about.
Four ships have been hijacked in the past two months. This is traumatic for the crews and others involved. However, the efforts of merchant ships increasingly committing to the best management practices, the activities of the counter piracy forces and the efforts of the regional authorities, managed to keep the vast majority of ships transiting through this huge area safe.
As of the end of October the chance for a pirate of actually hijacking, a ship, if attacked, is 1 in 9. This is a significant decrease compared to the 1 in 3 in the meteorologically similar period from 15 February until 15 April this year. In the Gulf of Aden the pirate success rate has dropped to 0%.
Presenting its quarterly report on piracy, the International Maritime Bureau recently declared the activities of the combined naval forces were instrumental in the decrease of Piracy and were “very, very effective”.
All three Commanders agree that the solution is in stability and a rule of law on land and regional capacity building to deter, disrupt and repress piracy.
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