TCG Gemlik Replaces TCG Gökova In Gulf Of Aden

F496

F-496 TCG Gökova.

F-496 TCG Gökova has passed through the Suez Canal as she is returning from her deployment in Gulf Of Aden. She was replaced by F-492 TCG Gemlik.

TCG Gökova was part of multinational anti piracy task force CTF-151 and was in the region since March 2014.

Here is the list of Turkish warships, deployed to Gulf of Aden to combat piracy:

Number Name Deployment Start Deployment End
F-491 TCG Giresun 17.02.2009 17.06.2009
F-490 TCG Gaziantep 17.06.2009 06.10.2009
F-495 TCG Gediz 21.06.2009 15.10.2009
F-496 TCG Gökova 16.10.2010 08.02.2010
F-492 TCG Gemlik 08.02.2010 24.04.2010
F-493 TCG Gelibolu 27.02.2010 13.08.2010
F-494 TCG Gökçeada 05.08.2010 22.10.2010
F-490 TCG Gaziantep 22.10.2010 25.01.2011
F-491 TCG Giresun 25.01.2011 18.06.2011
F-495 TCG Gediz 27.09.2011 07.12.2011
F-491 TCG Giresun 07.12.2011 07.06.2012
F-492 TCG Gemlik 07.06.2012 10.12.2012
F-496 TCG Gökova 10.12.2012 06.06.2013
F-497 TCG Göksu 06.06.2013 07.12.2013
F-493 TCG Gelibolu  07.12.2013 14.03.2014

 

Turkish Task Force Starts Its Circumnavigation Of Africa

TDGGTomorrow, on 17 March 2014, the Barbaros Turkish Maritime Task Group will leave Turkish Naval Base in Gölcük to starts its circumnavigation of Africa.

The task force will contain the frigates F-495 TCG Gediz, F-245 TCG Oruçreis, the corvette F-511 TCG Heybeliada and the replenishment tanker A-595 TCG Yarbay Kudret Güngör.

During the deployment, which is expected to take 102 days, Barbaros TMTG will navigate round the African continent from west to east and will make 40 port visits in 28 countries and conduct military exercises with their navies.

It will be the first crossing of Cape of Hope by Turkish ships after 148 years. The ships will travel for about 15,000 nautical miles approximately 30,000 km throughout their sail.

This deployment is not just a navigational exercise of circumnavigation around Africa. It is also a powerful application of Turkish soft power to Africa. During the last decade Turkey finally realized that there is more Africa than just the Mediterranean countries where Turkey had links for centuries. With the discovery of sub Saharan Africa Turkish entrepreneurs started to do business with these countries. They were followed quickly by missions of Turkish Foreign Ministry and flights from Turkish Airlines.

As I learn more about the details of the activities planed during this deployment more I understand how much background work must have been done to make this happen. Below are the some highlights of the planned activities:

  • Turkish defence companies Meteksan, Otokar, TAI, Dearsan, Havelsan, Roketsan, Aselsan, STM will show their products in following cities:

Thema, Ghana
Lagos, Nigeria
Luanda, Angola
Dar es Salaam Tanzania
Mombasa, Kenya

  • Turkish Ministry of Health will conduct health checks and provide medical assistance in following cities:

Banjul Gambia
Dakar, Senegal,
Port of Sudan, Sudan

  • Military music bands will perform concerts in following cities:

Las Palmas, Spain
Conakry, Guinea
Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Pointe-Noire, Congo
Cape Town, South Africa
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Mombasa, Kenya
Djibouti, Djibouti
Port of Sudan, Sudan

  • Members of Multinational Maritime Security Centre of Excellence will conduct maritime security and boarding training in following cities:

Lagos, Nigeria
Pointe-Noire, Congo
Luanda, Angola
Simon’s Town, South Africa
Mombasa, Kenya

  • There will be theoretical training in all ports of call.
  • Various high-ranking Turkish officers will visit their counterparts in 17 different cities.

This deployment of Barbaros TMTG is not just about hearts and minds either.

The frigate F-245 TCG Oruçreis will take part in Obangame Express Exercise between 19 and 21 April 2014. Obangame Express, conducted by U.S. Naval Forces Africa, is an at-sea maritime exercise designed to improve cooperation among participating nations in order to increase maritime safety and security in the Gulf of Guinea.  It focuses on maritime interdiction operation, as well as visit, board, search, and seizure techniques.

The two frigates and the corvette will conduct live missile firing exercise in Denel Overberg Test Range between 5 and 9 May 2014. There they will test their skills to the limits.

And when the Barbaros TMTG reaches Gulf of Aden it will conduct anti piracy operations between 5 and 11 June 2014.

This deployment is one of most meticulous prepared foreign deployments of Turkish Navy and a text-book example how nations can use their military to gain affection abroad. But not everybody is sharing my sentiments.

Admiral Nusret Güner, who had resigned to protest the Sledgehammer and other trials when he was expected to become the Commander of the Turkish Naval Forces, after a 1.5-year tenure as the head of the Fleet Command, criticized the upcoming African campaign of the Turkish Navy, pointing out the tensions in the Black Sea over the Crimean crisis .

The Black Sea waters are boiling because of what’s happening in Crimea and Ukraine. The United States and Russia are playing chess. They make moves one after another. When there is an imminent risk of clash, it’s an unacceptable situation that the Turkish Naval Forces are engaged in an African campaign in a way that they weaken their presence in the region,” Güner told daily Hürriyet.

Güner said he considers the African campaign as a wrong move for one more reason, which is the current status of Turkish naval forces. “The Sledgehammer trial and other legal cases have weakened the professional experience and skills of the Navy staff,” he said.

I agree with Mr. Güner’s remarks that the Black Sea waters are boiling and the shady trials against the Turkish high-ranking officers mostly from Naval Forces has created a havoc among the ranks of Turkish Navy. But I do not think that these are enough reasons to cancel the deployment of Barbaros TMTG. As being the former Commander of Turkish Naval Fleet, he must be in a better situation to judge the strengths and weaknesses of our navy but if we cannot spare 2 frigates and one corvette out of our fleet of 16 frigates and 8 corvettes, then something is not correct.

Even if the points made by Mr. Güner are correct we have other means to counter them. We have a good fleet of submarines that can creep very close to Crimea and gather very important intelligence. If we have to show the flag in the Black Sea we have many fast attack craft and some long range coast guard vessels that can fulfill the mission even if we cannot spare any of the 14 frigates left.

It is a very big pity that because of the shady trials many aspiring high-ranking officers are behind the bars today. The loss of their collective expertise and experience is a big blow to our navy. But expertise and experience are not gained by staying at home. They are gained by daring to new adventures and going to places that are new. Barbaros TMTG is just going to do that.

TCG Gökçeada Joined SNMG-2

(6)

TCG Gökçeada departing. Photo: official Turkish Navy photo.

According to the official website of Turkish Navy, the Gabya (Perry) class frigate F-494 TCG Gökçeada departed from her home port Aksaz, Marmaris on 10 March 2014 to replace the frigate F-493 TCG Gelibolu of the same class in SNMG-2.

TCG Gelibolu was as part of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 under Spanish command in Gulf Of Aden and was taking part in Operation Ocean Shield, which is NATO’s counter piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden and off the Horn of Africa.

From 14 March till 24 June 2014, TCG Gökçeada will protect the civilian ships against the pirates.

TCG Göksu Returned From Her Anti Piracy Deployment

f497_1

Photo: Official Turkish Navy photo.

On 16 December 2013 after a 7 month deployment, Gabya class frigate, F-497 TCG Göksu returned her home port Gölcük.

She has been in the Gulf Of Aden and Indian Ocean to combat piracy.

Thank you for a job well done and welcome home.

TCG Gelibolu Replaces TCG Salihreis In SNMG-2

F-493 TCG-Gelibolu

Turkish Gabya class frigate F-493 TCG Gelibolu is replacing F-246 TCG Salihreis in SNMG-2, before the NATO’s task force sails to Gulf Of Aden to combat piracy.

There will be a farewell ceremony for TCG Gelibolu on 30 November in Aksaz Naval Base.

While Turkish Navy deploys Yavuz (MEKO 200 Track I) and Barbaros (MEKO 200 Track II A/B) class frigates to NATO missions, it is always a Gabya (Perry) class frigate that is sent to missions in Gulf Of Aden. The Gabya class ships are considered more comfortable in Indian ocean and are more economical with their fuel consumption.

It would be interesting to hear what RAN is thinking as it is the only other navy besides Turkish that operates both MEKO and Perry class frigates.

TCG Göksu Escorted Humanitarian Aid Ship To Somalia

TCG Göksu escorted M/V Star Prince to Somalia.

TCG Göksu escorted M/V Star Prince to Somalia.

According to the official webpage of Turkish General Staff, Turkish frigate F-497 TCG Göksu ride shot-gun to Tanzanian flagged merchant ship M/V Star Prince for ten days.

The two ships rendezvoused off the coast of Jedda, Saudi Arabia and traveled together till M/V Star Price arrived its destination: Mogadishu, Somalia. She was carrying humanitarian aid from Turkish Red Crescent.

F-497 TCG Göksu is the current Turkish contribution to the CTF-151 anti-piracy naval task force.

Ukrainian Frigate Passed Through Turkish Straits On Her Way To Gulf Of Aden

U310_1

The Ukrainian frigate Hetman Sahaydachniy passing through the Dardanelles. She is going to conduct anti piracy patrols in Gulf of Aden. Photo: Ahmet Güven.

U310_3

The Ukrainian frigate Hetman Sahaydachniy passing through the Dardanelles. She is going to conduct anti piracy patrols in Gulf of Aden. Photo: Ahmet Güven

U310_2

The Ukrainian frigate Hetman Sahaydachniy passing through the Dardanelles. She is going to conduct anti piracy patrols in Gulf of Aden. Photo: Ahmet Güven

It is not just Russian warships that pass through the Turkish Straits these days. The Ukraian Krivak class frigate U-310 Hetman Sahaydachniy made a rare southbound passage through the Turkish Straits.

She is going to Gulf Of Aden in order to take part in anti piracy operations there. This is the first time that Ukraine is sending a ship for these operations. Ukraine is the second Black Sea nation that send a warship for anti piracy operations. Years ago Bulgaria wanted to take part but was not able to finance it. Last year Romania send a frigate to take part in EU’s anti piracy Operation Atalanta.

This is the official announcement of Ukrainian Defence Ministry:

Frigate Naval Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine “Getman Sahaidachny” with a helicopter Ka-27, and a group of special purpose (Review Team) on board today, 24 September, went on a long hike to participate in anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden, and Red Sea West Indian Ocean. During sea crossings and arrival to your destination frigate will make immediate preparations for the tasks of counter-piracy operations at sea “Ocean Shield” and the EU operation “Atalanta” in the area closest to conduct these operations.

The ship on a long voyage accompanied Navy Commander Admiral Yuri Il’yin Ukraine, members of the Military Council of the Navy, Navy veterans home, relatives and friends of the sailors.

Addressing the troops, Admiral Yuri Il’yin said that by this time the ship of the national fleet in such a long hike has not gone.

- You first. The first to be difficult, but very honorable. The fleet is proud of you! – Said the commander of the National Navy. – This device – the best of the best that have earned the right to perform this very important mission for our country. You will defend the national interests of our country. Remember every minute: you are defenders of the Motherland, for you will be judged on our country, of our Navy.

Head of the Armed Forces wished all excellent health and a happy voyage.

For sailors parting words also appealed Assistant Minister of Defense of Ukraine stock Admiral Viktor Maksimov, first deputy chairman of the Sevastopol City State Administration Theodore Rubanov, former commander of the Naval Forces of Ukraine stock Admiral Igor Tenyukh, Honorary Chairman of the Board of Veterans Ukraine Navy Vice Admiral Nikolai retired Klitnyy .

Ship commanded by Captain 2nd rank Roman Piatnitski.

TCG Göksu Joins CTF-151

SONY DSC

The Turkish Navy announced that, the Gabya class Frigate F-497 TCG Göksu will take part in Joint Task Force-151 (CTF-151) between 6 June and 6 December 2013.

On 6 June 2013, on board of TCG Göksu was command hand over ceremony of CTF-151. Real Admiral Muhammad Ihsan Qadir from Pakistani Navy, replaced Read Admiral Giam Hock Koon from Singapore Navy.

TCG Göksu will serve as the flagship for Real Admiral Muhammad Ihsan Qadir in the next 3 months.

 

 

TCG Gökçeada Escorts Somalia Bound Cargo Vessel

TCG Gökova escorting the merchant vessel M/V Aqua Luna in Gulf of Aden. Photo: Official Turkish Navy Photo.

TCG Gökçeada escorting the merchant vessel M/V Aqua Luna in Gulf of Aden. Photo: Official Turkish Navy Photo.

The Turkish frigate F-494 TCG Gökçeada escorted the merchant ship M/V Aqua Luna carrying Turkish aid to Somalia.

M/V Aqua Luna chartered by Turkish Red Crescent was carrying 90 thousand canned goods,  5 thousand tons of sugar, 5 thousand tons of flour and many other goods and machinery need to overhaul Somalia’s infrastructure.

I was assuming that this escort duty would be performed by TCG Gökova as she has been in the with SNMG-2. The departure of TCG Gökçeada to the region was not announced either by the Turkish Navy or The Turkish General Staff. Both organisations used to be open about these deployments in the past.

Now, Turkish Navy has again two warships “East of Suez”.

 

 

Ukraine Joined The NATO Anti Piracy Operation Ocean Shield

This from the official web site of Ukrainian Ministry of Defence:

This was announced Secretary General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, opening on Friday in Brussels meeting of NATO-Ukraine Commission.

- I just exchanged letters with the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Pavel Lebedev, confirming Ukraine’s participation in the NATO operation against piracy “Ocean Shield” – said the secretary general of NATO.

Recall that the February 21-22, Ukraine’s defense minister Pavel Lebedev is on an official visit to NATO Headquarters in Brussels, where he participated in the meetings of the NATO-Ukraine Commission and the North Atlantic Council in Defence Ministers.

As explained in the Mission of Ukraine to NATO, the agreement formalizes Ukraine’s status as the first partner country participating in the operation to combat piracy, “Ocean Shield” and the only NATO partner country that participates in all its operations.

It is expected that in November the flagship of the Naval Forces of Ukraine frigate “Hetman Sagaidachny” with helicopter deck and a group of special forces take part in the NATO operation against piracy “Ocean Shield”

This is the first time that Ukraine will take part in the Operation Ocean Shield. Years ago Bulgaria wanted to take part but was not able to finance it. Last year Romania send a frigate to take part in EU’s anti piracy Operation Atalanta.

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,120 other followers

%d bloggers like this: