Singapore has successfully completed its third command of the multinational Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, as part of the international counter-piracy efforts in the Gulf of Aden (GoA). Rear-Admiral (RADM) Giam Hock Koon from the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) handed over command of Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 to Commodore Muhammad Ihsan Qadir of the Pakistan Navy.
Over the past three months, the Singapore-led CTF 151 team coordinated operations to deter and disrupt piracy in the GoA. The command team also collaborated with counter-piracy forces from the European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR), the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), other navies from China, India, Japan and Republic of Korea, as well as regional security authorities in the GoA. As a result of these collective efforts, there were no successful hijacking incidents in the CTF 151’s area of responsibility during the RSN’s three-month command tenure.
At the handing over ceremony held at the Naval Support Activity in Bahrain, Vice-Admiral John W. Miller, Commander NAVCENT, Fifth Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces, commended Singapore for its contributions to the multinational counter-piracy efforts in the GoA.
He said, “The superb performance we’ve seen over the past three months demonstrate the professionalism, dedication, and commitment of the RSN.” RADM Giam also highlighted Singapore’s commitment towards keeping strategic waterways such as the GoA free for international trade. He added, “As a maritime nation, Singapore will continue to play its part to ensure the freedom of navigation and safety of shipping.”
The command team consisted of 49 Singaporeans and 12 personnel from the navies of Australia, Brunei, France, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, United States, United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam.
Since April 2009, the SAF has deployed three SAF Command Teams and four Task Groups, most recently a frigate with a naval helicopter, for counter-piracy operations in the GoA.
Press Release, June 6, 2013; Image: Pakistan Navy