Turkey Will Command CTF-151 For The Fourth Time

Turkish Navy announced that it will take the helm of Combined Task Force-151 between 19 September and 13 December 2012. The Turkish frigate F-492 TCG Gemlik will act as the flagship.

There will be a hand-over ceremony on board of the current DDH-978 ROKS Wang Geon on 19th September 2012 in Manama, Bahrain.

Previously Turkish Navy led the CTF-151:

  • May – August 2009
  • September – December 2010
  • September – December 2011

Turkish Warship Protects Aid Ship

M/V Dadalı escorted by F-492 TCG Gemlik. Photo: Turkish General Staff.

Two warships of Turkish Navy escorted the merchant ship M/V Dadalı during her voyage to Mogadishu.

M/V Dadalı chartered by Turkish Red Crescent was carrying humanitarian aid to Somalia. According to the photo published by Turkish General Staff most of visible cargo on board of the merchant ship consists of various types of trucks.

During the first part of the 3030 miles and 19 says long trip from Mersin, Turkey to Alexandria Egypt, the merchant ship was escorted by the corvette F-500 TCG Bozcada. The Gabya class frigate F-492 TCG Gemlik took over the escort duty in the Red Sea to the final destination of M/V Dadalı in Mogadishu, Somalia.

 

TCG Gemlik Departed To Join CTF-151

TCG Gemlik departing. Official Turkish Navy photo.

F-492 TCG Gemlik a Gabya class frigate, left her home port Aksaz, Marmaris today for a six month deployment in the Gulf of Aden.

According to the official statement made by Turkish Navy, TCG Gemlik will stay in the region till December 2012 and participate in anti piracy efforts with the Combined Task Force-CTF-151.

One S-70B Seahawk helicopter and two naval special forces teams are embarked on board.

It is also stated that a Turkish Admiral will take the command of this multinational task force between September and December 2012. This will be third time that a Turkish Admiral commands the CTF-151. Previously, Turkish Navy did led the CTF-151 between  5 May -13 August 2009 and between 1 September -29 November 2010.

I wish TCG Gemlik calm seas and following winds.

TCG Giresun Hosts The Commander Of CTF-151

The commander of two counter piracy task forces CTF-151 and TF-508 (NATO SNMG-2) met to discuss joint operations and coordination between these two task forces.

Currently Turkish Navy has the command on the SNMG-2. More over  Turkish Navy did led the CTF-151 twice 5 May -13 August 2009 and 1 September -29 November 2010.

Commodore Aage Buur Jensen Danish Royal Navy, Commander, Combined Task Force 151 (counter piracy) met with his NATO colleague, Rear Admiral Siman A. Tosun, Commander, Task Force 508, during counter-piracy patrols at sea.

 The meeting took place on board the Turkish frigate F-491 TCG Giresun on 20th January 2012. 

The two task force commanders discussed the need for continuing mutual assistance and resource allocation, as well as sharing knowledge and experience, in order to augment the international counter-piracy effort.

CTF 151 is currently embarked on USS HALSEY which recently assumed the role of the CTF 151 flagship for Commodore Aage Buur Jensen, Royal Danish Navy and his multi-national CTF 151 command staff Jan. 13. CTF 151 transferred command from the Pakistani Navy who was stationed aboard the USS KIDD (DDG 100).

CTF 151 is one of three Task Forces assigned to Combined Maritime Forces. Established in February 2002 the Task Force’s key mission is to conduct counter-piracy operations in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Somali Basin , Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean. It protects and defends the legitimate use of the ocean by fisherman and merchants and stands ready to assist any mariner in distress.

Turkish Navy To Continue Anti-piracy Operations

On 25th January 2012, Turkish Parliament accepted a submitted motion to extend the presence of Turkish Navy in Gulf Of Aden for one year.

In 2009, Turkish Parliament gave the government the power to send units from Turkish Navy to Gulf Of Aden and adjacent waters, in order to participate the multinational efforts of anti-piracy.

The duration of this permission was extend twice, once in 2010 and once in 2011.

Turkish warship are  tasked with:

  • Performing reconnaissance and patrol duties,
  • Calling on ships suspected of piracy/ armed robbery, on the radio, boarding them if their flag country approves and interfering in accordance with the international law if the ship is not showing any flag,
  • Escorting and protecting merchant ships,
  • Helping merchant ships under attack of pirates/sea robbers,
  • Intervening, stopping, neutralizing, and confiscating any vessels used by pirates/sea robbers, and using appropriate force if necessary,
  • Arresting and detaining pirates/sea robbers and armed persons in these vessels,
  • Accepting the representatives of the countries that will prosecute pirates/ armed robbers on board, for the preparations of judicial proceedings, according to the UN resolution 1851.
  • Arresting and detaining, pirates/armed robbers on board until they are being handed over to the countries that will prosecute them,
  • Turning in, the suspects of pirates/sea robbers with the exception of the case that these are Turkish citizens, to the authorities the nation where the pirates/sea robbers will be prosecuted,
  • Executing all kinds of policing duties including interrogation, collecting evidence.

 

TCG Gediz Disrupts A Pirate Mother Ship and Skiff

F-495 TCG Gediz during a naval parade in Dardanelles in March 2011.

One of the two frigates Turkey has sent to Gulf Of Aden for anti piracy operations, F-495 TCG Gediz disrupted a pirate mother ship and a skiff according to Combined Maritime Forces.  TCG Gediz has received the GENESİS combat suit modernization  and she is the first frigate of this class to receive the  MK-41 VLS upgrade. Here is the details of her actions:

The task force received a report of an attack on the merchant vessel MV JEANNE as it transited international waters off the coast of the Somalia/Kenya border. CTF 151 Commander, Rear Admiral Kaleem Shaukat, Pakistan Navy tasked GEDIZ, patrolling in the area, to search for the skiff that had participated in the attack.

GEDIZ located a suspected mother ship for the pirate action group operating in this area, a group which included the skiff responsible for the earlier attack on MV JEANNE, Nov 21.  This vessel was also suspected of involvement in two other recent attacks in this operating area.  GEDIZ’s boarding team conducted a search of the vessel, and destroyed all equipment associated with piracy, including multiple grappling hooks and a boarding ladder.

GEDIZ identified the suspected pirate skiff and witnessed the crew toss multiple items overboard, including grappling hooks and what appeared to be weapons.  When GEDIZ was in close enough proximity for a more thorough examination of the skiff, they assessed that it presented no further threat and that all materiel involved in possible acts of piracy had been discarded. Upon completion of these successful operations, Rear Admiral Shaukat stated:

“These most recent disruptions have once again shown the high capability and professionalism of TCG GEDIZ and the Turkish Navy.  I commend the captain and crew on a job well done in pursuing suspected pirates and disrupting their ability to conduct further attacks.”

In accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolutions, and in cooperation with non-member forces, CTF 151’s mission is to disrupt piracy and armed robbery at sea and to engage with regional and other partners to build capacity and improve relevant capabilities, in order to protect global maritime commerce and secure freedom of navigation.  CTF 151 is one of three task forces operating under the US-led Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), a 25-nation coalition.  CTF 151’s counter-piracy operations focus on the Gulf of Aden, Southern Red Sea, Arabian Sea and Somali Basin, an area encompassing 2.5 million square miles.

It is a pity that the pirates were not detained but when they throw their tool-of-trade over the board there is not much left to do.

F-495 TCG Gediz Visits Muscat

The Turkish frigates F-495 TCG Gediz is Muscat, Oman for an official visit.  This visit is probably a short rest before the long days of patrolling against piracy and sea robbery will commence.

The frigate is in the region since September 2011 and is in the CTF-151 multinational task force. She escorted the Turkish flagged merchant ship M/V Burak A carrying  8 full equipped ambulances, 1 forklift, 5 jeeps, 6 generators, 500 tents, 5000 blankets and 4.500 tons of food and medical supplies to Mogadishu. This is the second Gulf of Aden deployment of F-495 TCG Gediz.

MUSCAT — Sayyid Said bin Ibrahim al Busaidy, Deputy Governor of Muscat, received here yesterday the Commander of the Turkish Naval Frigate TCG Gediz.
Al Busaidy briefed the guest on the Governorate of Muscat and its role in serving the society. He highlighted the landmarks in the wilayats of the governorate that stand as witnesses of its ancient history and bright present.
The guest admired the landmarks in this prosperous era. He valued the pioneering role being pursued by the government under the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos in pushing forward the wheel of development in the country and cementing co-operation relations with other countries.
Issues of common concern were also discussed during the meeting. — ONA

H/T: Dave Shirlaw.

TCG Gediz Escorts Turkish Aid Ship To Mogadishu

The Mk-41 on TCG Gediz.

The first MK-41 VLs equipped Gabya (Perry) class frigate F-495 TCG Gediz is on her way to Gulf Of Aden.

In 2009 it was announced that four of the eight Gabya class frigates in Turkish inventory would receive a 8 cell Mk-41 VLS for ESSM and a new 3D radar for improved observation and fire control capabilities. This upgrade is similar to the modernization project conducted by Royal Australian Navy known as Project SEA 1390 or FFG UP.

Thales Smart S Mk-2 is selected as the new 3D radar, but it is not installed on the frigate.  This will be the first overseas deployment for TCG Gediz after her modernization. She will join CTF-151 and will conduct anti piracy operations.

M/V Burak A. Photo: Ulf Kornfeld via shipspotting.com

But before joining the CTF-151 she will escort the Turkish flagged merchantman M/V Burak A till port of Mogadishu. M/V Burak A left Istanbul on 19th August 2011 and is carrying 5.000 tons of humanitarian aid for Somali. Among the cargo are 8 full equipped ambulances, 1 forklift, 5 jeeps, 6 generators, 500 tents, 5000 blankets and 4.500 tons of food and medical supplies.

TCG Gediz will escort M/V Burak A, to Mogadishu port and will provide security during the unloading of the humanitarian aid. After escorting the merchant ship away from dangerous waters she will join the CTF-151.

It was not made public how long the frigate will stay in Gulf of Aden but by judging older deployments to the region I assume it will not shorter than 3 months.

Currently both ships are in the Mediterranean, heading to Port Said.

>TCG Giresun Foils An Pirate Attack To M/V Kıran Asya

>

TCG Giresun and M/V Avramid

The Turkish frigate F-491 TCG Giresun, foiled and attack of Somali pirates on the bulker M/V Kıran Asya on 27 February 2010.

The Turkish flagged bulker, was on route to Iraq, 85 miles east off the coast of Oman when she was attacked by pirates.

The helicopter of the frigate was rushed to the help of the merchant ship and with its arrival the pirates abandoned their attack.

The pirates tried to attack Panamanian flagged, Turkish owned M/V Avramid and Chinese fishing boat M/V Zen Hua within the hour. Again the helicopter intervened the pirates with warning shots and foiled their attack for the second time.

This incident clearly shows again that an armed helicopter is one of the most effective measures against pirates.

TCG Giresun will remain with the merchant ships and escort them till their passage from the region is completed.

Photos from Turkish General Staff.

>A Small Naval Review of 2010

>As one year ends and the new one starts, the temptation to make lists about various subjects becomes almost irresistible. So I followed the urge in me and made this 5 point list about the most important events for Turkish Navy in 2010:

  1. The Sea Trials of TCG Heybeliada: The first ship of the Milgem class F-511 TCG Heybeliada stared her sea trails 26 months after her launching. These test also marked an important milestone of the overall project. For the first time a indigenous designed and built warship sailed. TCG Heybeliada is scheduled for the official commissioning in Turkish Navy this year.
  2. Turkish Naval Task Force: For the first time in the recent history Turkish Navy formed a Task Force and have it sailed in the Mediterranean Sea for 2 months. During its existence the task force made 10 port visits in 8 different countries and joint exercise with various navies. Turkish Navy intents to create another task force in 2011. This task force will sail in the Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean and in adjunct seas and conduct port visits and other maritime duties.
  3. The Second Command of CTF-151: Between September and December 2010, Turkish Navy was in command of CTF-151 for a second term. CTF-151 is a multinational TF organized by US Navy. Its main mission is to provide security for merchant ships in Gulf of Aden against Somali pirates and to conduct interdiction operations against established pirate skiffs and motherships. One of the highlights during this period was the boarding made by US Marines to the M/V Magellan Star while the pirates were still on board. After a brief operations the pirates were comprehended white the crew of the ship was hiding in a safe room.
  4. The Sledgehammer: Sledgehammer is the name of an alleged Turkish secularist military coup plan which reportedly dates back to 2003. The trial for the criminal case has just started in 16 December 2010. But during the whole 2010 there were a number of arrest during the investigation for the case. In February 2010, 95 people were detained. 86 of these were military personnel, 70 of them in active duty including 4 admirals. I personally believe that the whole case is a text book McCarthyism. Though no one has proven guilty yet it has already hurt lives and careers of many. And most importantly it has created enough diversion and distracted all services from their primary duty of national defense as many of the top brass was busy with their personal self defense.
  5. The never ending wrestling at the Aegean: Despite the mutual visits of high ranking politicans and military personel,  the constant wrestling in the Aegean continues as ever. Last year movements of Turkish warships in Aegean found a bigger than usual coverage in Greek media. The movements of Turkish warships were accused of breaching the rules of innocent passage. And usually the opposition media blamed the Greek government of being to subversive. The Turkish side insisted that the movements of the warships should be regarded within the definition of transit passage. Although the relations between the two countries seems to be better than it was a decade ago the fundamental problems still linger around.
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