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28 avril 2015 2 28 /04 /avril /2015 16:45
NATO and the Djibouti consolidate their cooperation


24 April 2015 by NATO Support and Procurement Agency


NATO and the Republic of Djibouti have enhanced their cooperation, by concluding on 22 April an agreement to establish a NATO liaison office in Djibouti in support of the Alliance's counter piracy operation, Ocean Shield, in the Gulf of Aden.


NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Operations, Ambassador Francesca Tardioli, and the Republic of Djibouti's Minister of Foreign Affairs, H. E Mahmoud Ali Youssouf, signed the agreement.


The establishment of a liaison office will facilitate greater operational, logistical and administrative coordination. It will also provide the basis for further dialogue between NATO and the Republic of Djibouti on potential partnership activities in areas of common and mutual interest, including the maritime dimension, NATO said. Djibouti is an active regional partner in the international efforts to prevent and deter the threat of piracy. It is also a strong supporter of the NATO Ocean Shield operation.


Ocean Shield was first established in August 2009 and has been subsequently renewed. The current mandate will run until the end of 2016. Since the launch of Ocean Shield, NATO has been working in close cooperation with other actors in the region including the European Union’s Operation Atalanta, the US Combined Task Force 151 and individual country contributors. No successful pirate attacks have been conducted in the area of operation of Ocean Shield since May 2012.


The President of Djibouti, H.E. Ismail Omar Guellah visited NATO HQ on 5 March 2014 and met with former NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh-Rasmussen.

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7 janvier 2015 3 07 /01 /janvier /2015 12:30
Iranian Navy's Jamaran Frigate

Iranian Navy's Jamaran Frigate


07 January 2015 by defenceWeb

Iranian Navy vessels have disrupted a pirate attack on an Iranian oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Yemen, as sporadic pirate attacks continue in the region.

A group of eight skiffs approached an oil tanker 120 km southeast of the Yemeni city of Al-Mukalla, Iran’s FARS news agency reported earlier this week. Two vessels from the Iranian Navy’s 32nd flotilla comprising the Mowj class frigate Jamaran and supply ship Bushehr responded by opening fire on the suspected pirates, who subsequently escaped.


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21 décembre 2014 7 21 /12 /décembre /2014 12:20
USS George H.W. Bush is underway to Naval Station Norfolk (oct 2014)

GULF OF ADEN (Oct. 23, 2014)U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Abe McNatt/Released


The aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) transits the Gulf of Aden. The George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group is returning to Naval Station Norfolk after supporting maritime security operations, strike operations in Iraq and Syria as directed, and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

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19 décembre 2014 5 19 /12 /décembre /2014 07:45
Somali pirates are "not defeated but dormant," says Puntland's Minister for Maritime Transport


12/15/2014 Defence IQ Press

Hon. Abdalla Jama Saleh is the Minister of Maritime Transport, Ports and Counter Piracy for Puntland. He is charged with leading the country’s counter piracy efforts by working with the international community to fight piracy inland and along the coast of Puntland. He spoke to Defence IQ about the decline of piracy off the Somali coast and how that has given rise to new maritime challenges in the Gulf of Aden…


Defence IQ: Piracy in the Gulf of Aden has fallen dramatically in the last few years – what are the main reasons for this? What have been the key lessons learned during this period?


Hon. Adballa Jama: The success against piracy is down to cooperation between at us and the international community. We fought with the pirates inland at their hideouts and points of gathering.  We used force on certain occasions; we used religious guidance by preachers stating that piracy is forbidden and any income directly or indirectly is illegitimate and absolutely forbidden. We successfully reached the point that they could not buy properties or marry with the piracy money. Besides that anybody caught by the international armada was given a long prison term. The international navy presence in the area was a major factor too.


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15 décembre 2014 1 15 /12 /décembre /2014 08:45
Chinese Harbin Z-9E helicopter practices landing aboard the U.S. Navy's  USS Sterett


14 déc. 2014 US Navy


GULF OF ADEN (Dec. 12, 2014) - A Chinese Harbin Z-9E helicopter practices landing aboard the U.S. Navy's guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104). Sterett and ships from the Chinese People's Liberation Army (Navy) PLA(N) commenced a bilateral counter-piracy exercise, U.S.-China Counter-Piracy Exercise 15, in the Gulf of Aden and the Horn of Africa. Aiming to promote partnership, strength and presence, the exercise includes combined visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS) operations, communication exchanges, and various other aspects of naval operations. This exercise represents a long-standing united front toward counter-piracy operations shared by these two world powers. (U.S. Navy video/Released)


Z-9E helicopter

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11 septembre 2014 4 11 /09 /septembre /2014 18:45
Italian Predator Flies Sortie in Gulf of Aden


Sept 11, 2014 defense-unmanned.com

(Source: EU Naval Force Somalia; issued Sept 10, 2014)


Italian Air Force Completes its First Remote Controlled Aircraft Sortie for Operation Atalanta


Italy has operated its Predator UAVs in Afghanistan, and is now preparing to deploy them to Djibouti in support of counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. (Italian AF photo)


On Tuesday 4 September the 32nd wing of the Italian Air Force, which operates the remote controlled aircraft known as Predator, completed their first tasking with the EU Naval Force.


The Italian Predator team, which is based in Djibouti, carried out a successful 11 hour check test flight and was able to highlight its effectiveness in carrying out long-range surveillance and reconnaissance patrols.


In the coming months the remote controlled aircraft will be used to monitor the seas off the coast of Somalia where pirates have been known to operate and give an early warning of a possible attack.


As is the case with EU Naval Force warships and Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft, the remote controlled aircraft can also be used to monitor the safety of World Food Programme vessels as they transit the Indian Ocean.

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27 août 2013 2 27 /08 /août /2013 11:30
GULF OF ADEN (Aug. 24, 2013) Lt. j.g. Jeffrey Fasoli, gunnery officer aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87), discusses techniques with Chinese sailors aboard the People's Liberation Army (Navy) destroyer Harbin (DDG 112) prior to a combined small-arms exercise. Mason is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Rob Aylward/Released)

GULF OF ADEN (Aug. 24, 2013) Lt. j.g. Jeffrey Fasoli, gunnery officer aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87), discusses techniques with Chinese sailors aboard the People's Liberation Army (Navy) destroyer Harbin (DDG 112) prior to a combined small-arms exercise. Mason is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Rob Aylward/Released)

Aug 26, 2013 ASDNews Source : AFPS


After concluding an ambitious counterpiracy exercise yesterday with the Chinese navy, members of the U.S. 5th Fleet expressed hope it will lay groundwork for closer future cooperation in ensuring freedom of movement in the Gulf of Aden, other regional waters, and beyond.


The guided-missile destroyer USS Mason joined the Chinese destroyer Harbin and Chinese auxiliary replenishment oiler Weishanhu for the two-day exercise in the Gulf of Aden, Navy Capt. Joseph Naman, commander of Destroyer Squadron 50 and Task Force 55, said during a phone interview from Bahrain.


The Chinese oiler played the role of a pirated vessel, as crew members from the Mason and Harbin conducted a combined visit, board, search and seizure drill that included a night boarding, reported Navy Cmdr. D. Wilson Marks, Mason’s commanding officer.


Simulated medical emergencies and hostage scenarios required the sailors to work together to provide a coordinated response.


In addition, the crews demonstrated synchronized maneuver techniques during a live-fire proficiency exercise, engaging an inflatable target with the 5-inch MK-45 lightweight gun and 3.9-inch ENG deck guns, Marks said.


Another “significant milestone,” Naman said, was the landing of a helicopter from each country aboard the deck of each other’s ship.


The exercise represented a big step beyond the first counterpiracy exercise between 5th Fleet and the Chinese navy, conducted in September near the Horn of Africa, Naman said. The 2012 exercise, which involved the USS Winston S. Churchill and the Chinese frigate Yi Yang, lasted only about six hours and was limited to a basic visit, board, search and secure exercise, follow-on discussion and crew lunch.


Throughout this week’s mission, Marks said, he was struck by how similarly the two navies operate.


“What my crew found out is they are sailors like we are,” practicing many of the same techniques as they confronted the same challenges, he said.


Both the United States and China recognize the importance of freedom of access and movement in the maritime environment, uninhibited by piracy or other illicit activity, Naman noted.


“I think both China and the U.S. share the common goal to make that happen,” he said.


Both navies, for example, regularly conduct counterpiracy operations in the Gulf region.


The United States is part of a multinational coalition task force that works collaboratively in and around the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. China, in contrast, operates independently. Naman said he would like to see that change, and that he hopes exercises like the one conducted over the weekend will encourage China to consider joining the coalition.


International cooperation and measures taken by the civilian shipping industry to discourage pirates have brought a dramatic drop in piracy compared to just three to four years ago, he reported.


“The sum of the parts is greater than the one, which is what the coalition brings in,” Marks said. “You can share best practices, build on each other’s strengths [and] capitalize on those strengths. … We are all working toward that shared goal of freedom of movement in the maritime [domain]. So if we all share the same goal, we ought to be working together, and that is what we are really trying to do.”


In the meantime, he said, exercising together helps to increase interoperability between the U.S. and Chinese navies that they can draw on in the future, anywhere in the world.


“As we have learned in the past, military-to-military engagement pays big dividends, because we operate in the same environment and … share the same common goals for that maritime environment,” Naman said.


Marks, who called the exercise “one of those once-in-a-career experiences,” said he and his crew hope for more opportunities to work with the Chinese navy.


For one of the participants, Navy Seaman Yi An, the exercise was particularly memorable. A naturalized U.S. citizen, the culinary specialist was born in China’s Quingdao province -- which the Harbin’s crew calls home.


Yi served as an interpreter during the exercise, generating a lot of excitement among the Chinese sailors as he shared hometown stories, Marks said. He was treated as an honored guest aboard the Harbin during a luncheon yesterday that concluded the exercise.


But exercising with their Chinese counterparts gave the entire Mason crew new insights, Marks said.


“Watching U.S. and Chinese sailors working side by side was amazing,” he said. “We may come from different places and speak a different language, but at the end of the day, we all share a common interest in protecting the maritime environment.”

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13 juin 2013 4 13 /06 /juin /2013 07:30
Nimitz Strike Group Enters 5th Fleet

Jun 12, 2013 ASDNews Source : US Navy


The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) with embarked Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 and Destroyer Squadron 23, along with the guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59) entered the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations June 9.


"I am proud of the Sailors and Marines of the strike group," said Rear Adm. Michael S. White, commander of CSG 11. "They have worked tirelessly to ensure that we arrive in theater ready to support ongoing operations. We look forward to working with our regional partners to demonstrate our commitment to security operations."


While in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility, Nimitz Strike Group will conduct maritime security operations, which help set conditions for security and promote regional stability and global prosperity.


"We are eager to participate in fostering trust, cooperation and mutual respect with our partner nations while working together to increase stability in the area and ensure the vital sea lanes of this region remain free for all maritime traffic," said White.


The squadrons of CVW-11 include the "Black Knights" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 154, the "Argonauts" of VFA-147, the "Blue Diamonds" of VFA-146, the "Death Rattlers" of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 323, the "Gray Wolves" of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 142, the "Wallbangers" of Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 117, the "Indians" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 6 and the "Wolf Pack" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 75.


U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet is headquartered in Manama, Bahrain, and is responsible for about 2.5 million square miles of water including the Arabian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean.


While operating in the 5th Fleet area of responsibility, Nimitz and CVW-11 will also conduct missions in direct support of troops participating in Operation Enduring Freedom.

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