NATO and Japan conducted a joint counter-piracy drill in the Gulf of Aden on Thursday, 25 September 2014, to test communications and tactical skills. It was the first such joint naval exercise between the two maritime fleets.
“By synchronizing our activities and sharing information we stand a much better chance to secure the waters in the region and thereby keeping the sea lanes safe and secure,” said Commodore Aage Buur Jensen, the commander of NATO’s counter-piracy mission, Operation Ocean Shield.
The exercise involved the Japanese destroyer JS Takanama and the Danish frigate HDMS Esbern Snare, currently the flagship of the NATO mission. Thursday’s drills included a range of tasks including the boarding and securing of ships and communication procedures.
“There is no doubt that the Japan Maritime Self Defence Forces are an important and very capable actor in the region and I am truly looking forward to expanding the fine cooperation NATO has with Japan,” said the Danish Commodore.
Press Release, September 26, 2014; Image: Mikkel Whitey Iversen, Royal Danish Navy