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”.

 

 

An Everyday Heroism? Turkish Sailors Take A 80 Miles Boat Ride In The Middle Of The Indian Ocean

The original text of the thank you note. Photo: Turkish General Staff.

The original text of the thank you note. Photo: Turkish General Staff.

Today, The Turkish General Staff website run a thank you note (an e-mail actually) from a recovering Turkish merchant sailor who got very ill when his ship was in Gulf of Aden 15 days ago.

According to the e-mail, the sailor, electrician officer on board of M/V Tuna 7 (in the actual e-mail the name of the ship is not mentioned but the maritime portal denizhaber.com confirmed the ship) got sick at very late night on 13th January 2013.

The ship was in a convoy protected by the Chinese Navy.  The Chinese warship offered help over the radio but this was not enough.

The Turkish frigate F-496 TCG Gökova was 80 miles away at this point but the ship send its RHIB any way with the executive officers, medical officer and a small security team on board. This team performed the first medical treatment to the ill sailor who was later transferred to a hospital in Salalah, Oman.

It is no easy feat to travel 80 miles on a small boat in the middle of pirate infested waters in the dead of the night to save a life. Hats off to those who made gave this episode a happy ending.

 

 

 

 

TCG Gökova Escorts Mogadishu Bound Cargo Vessel

F-496 TCG Gökova escorting M/V Aqua Luna.

F-496 TCG Gökova escorting M/V Aqua Luna. Photo: Official Turkish General Staff photo.

F-496 TCG Gökova escorting M/V Aqua Luna. Photo: Official Turkish General Staff photo.

F-496 TCG Gökova escorting M/V Aqua Luna.  The Mk-41VLS launcher is clearly visible.Photo: Official Turkish General Staff photo.

According to the announcement made by Turkish General Staff, the Turkish frigate F-496 TCG Gökova escorted the cargo vessel M/V Aqua Luna as she was carrying humanitarian cargo to Somalia. The Turkish owned and Monrovia flagged freighter left the port of Mersin in late November and passed through the Suez Canal on 30th November.

TCG Gökova escorted  the cargo vessel during her 2650 nautical miles long trip. M/V Aqua Luna was chartered by Turkish Red Crescent and was carrying undisclosed humanitarian aid to Somalia. The Trip took 11 days from the Suez Canal to Mogadishu.

Although it has not been officially announced yet it is highly possible for F-496 TCG Gökova to replace the F-492 TCG Gemlik in CTF-151.

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.

 

Spanish Port For US Navy’s BMD Ships

Spain agreed to host the ships US Navy is deploying to Mediterranean for NATO’s missile defense system.

Today the [NATO] security partnership takes a major step in the right direction,” Panetta told reports at the briefing.
“With four Aegis ships at Rota,” he added, “the alliance is significantly boosting combined naval capabilities in the Mediterranean and enhancing our ability to ensure the security of this vital region.”
The relocation of assets is part of an ongoing U.S. effort to better position forces and defensive capabilities in coordination with European allies and partners, the secretary added.
In 2009, President Barack Obama announced that the United States would adopt a new approach to ballistic missile defense in Europe called the European Phased Adaptive Approach. The architecture would be more comprehensive than a previous program, Obama said in a statement at the time, and would deploy proven, cost-effective capabilities and ultimately protect the United States and its NATO allies against short-, medium- and intermediate-range missile threats.
The program is being implemented in four phases, beginning this year and ending in 2020. So far, Romania, Poland, Turkey and now Spain have agreed to participate by hosting land-based radars or missile sites or porting Aegis ballistic-missile-defense-capable ships carrying interceptor missiles.
“These ships will support NATO’s critical efforts to build an effective missile defense alongside important agreements that were recently concluded with Romania, Poland and Turkey,” Panetta said.
Spain’s decision represents a critical step in implementing the European phased-adaptive approach, as the alliance’s leaders agreed to at the 2010 NATO summit in Lisbon, Portugal, he added.
Beyond missile defense, the secretary said, the Aegis destroyers will perform other missions, including participating in standing NATO maritime groups and joining in naval exercises, port visits and maritime security cooperation activities.

The other candidate host nation was Italy. I guess Rota’s legacy as a US navy forward base during the Cold War, and Spain’s own Aegis equipped ships with an option to be upgraded  to engage in BM defence was among the factors favoring this city’s selection.

Needles to say Greece or Turkey, much closer to the ultimate patrol areas for the BMD ships were not considered as candidates because they are considered unreliable in US views.  My comment from last years post about the topic turned to be correct.

But I do not expect any US warship to be home ported in Turkey as the political climate is not suitable yet. The politics of the previous US government alienated Turkey and the recent administration has not done enough to reverse the trend. The neocons in USA feel angry against Turkey as they think Turkey did not gave enough support for their war against global terrorism. Therefore it would be very difficult for both governments to sell the idea of permanent existence of US warships in Turkish ports to their nations.

 

Turkish Navy Task Force Departed For Indian Ocean

On 30 May the Turkish Naval Task Force left Aksaz Naval Base in Marmaris for a 70 day deployment in the Indian Ocean.
The task force is composed of F-244 TCG Barbaros as flagship, F-492 TCG Gemlik, F-493 TCG Gelibolu and A-595 TCG Yarbay Kudret Güngör. Another Turkish frigate F-491 TCG Giresun is already in the region as part of NATO’s SNMG-2 Task Group but she will not take part in the national task force.

During their deployment the task force will provide security for 8 convoys in the IRTC and patrol some troubled waters. Furthermore the task force will visit 8 cities in 8 countries. The task force will conduct low-key naval exercises such as PASSEX with their host navies.

The commander of the task force is Rear Admiral Sinan Ertuğrul. He is not a stranger to the region. He was at the helm of the CTF-151 for 3 months in 2010. This will be his second task force command in the same region.

In 2010 Turkish Navy announced that it has created a temporary task force with the aim of promoting peace and international security through maritime security, creating situational awareness, showing the flag and maintaining maritime presence in areas of interest, executing exercises and training with countries in the region, performing port visit to improve bilateral relations. Last years task force sailed through the Mediterranean.

You can read my posts on the previous Turkish Navy Task Force here.

The schedule for this years seems to be a busy one:

Date
Action
Location
Participants
30/05/11 Departure Aksaz All
06/06/11 Convoy Protection (Eastward) Golf of Aden 2 Frigates
08/06/11 Convoy Protection (Westward) Golf of Aden 2 Frigates
08/06/11 Patrol (7 Days) Golf of Aden 1 Frigate 1 Tanker
10/06/11 Convoy Protection (Eastward) Golf of Aden 2 Frigates
12/06/11 Convoy Protection (Westward) Golf of Aden 2 Frigates
14/06/11 Convoy Protection (Eastward) Golf of Aden 2 Frigates
19/06/11 Port visit Muscat All
22/06/11 Replenishment Abu Dhabi 1 Frigate 1 Tanker
23/06/11 Port visit Doha All
01/07/11 Port visit Karachi All
07/07/11 Port visit Mumbai All
15/07/11 Convoy Protection (Westward) Golf of Aden 2 Frigates 1 Tanker
17/07/11 Convoy Protection (Eastward) Golf of Aden 2 Frigates 1 Tanker
19/07/11 Convoy Protection (Westward) Golf of Aden 2 Frigates 1 Tanker
21/07/11 Patrol (4 Days) Al Hudeyde 1 Frigate
21/07/11 Patrol (5 Days) Aqaba 1 Frigate
26/07/11 Port visit Al Hudeyde 1 Frigate
26/07/11 Port visit Jeddah 1 Frigate 1 Tanker
29/07/11 Port visit Aqaba 1 Frigate
02/08/11 Operation Active Endevour Mediterrean All
08/08/11 Arrival Aksaz All

>TCG Giresun Helps M/T Guanabara

>

Today, F-491 TCG Giresun assisted to Japanese owned and Bahamian flagged tanker Guanabara.

The tanker was attacked by Somali pirates 330 miles south east of Duqm, Oman. The pirates were able to to board the ship but the crew hide in side a safe room.

Turkish contribution to Standing NATO Maritime Task Group 2 (CTF-508), TCG Giresun was diverted to help the tanker.

The frigate arrived at the vicinity of the tanker in the morning of 6. March 2011. The frigate established contact to the crew of the tanker and the on obard helicoper was send to reconnaissance and surveillance. Apeerantly the pirates gave up their efforts to hi jack the ship and with the arrival of TCG Giresun they decided to surrender.

Later the US destroyer DDG-84 USS Bulkeley arrived at the scene and the boarding team of the US warship, boarded the tanker. The boarding was unopposed by the pirates. The pirates are under custody on board of the USS Bulkeley.

Since then, TCG Giresun returned to her orginally assigned area of duty.

For more photos and for the original press release of the Turkish General Staff click here.

>The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 10)

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Fast ferries M/V Osman Gazi and M/V Orhan Gazi on their
return trip to İstanbul. As of afternoon of 2. March.

According to the PrimeMinister’s Office, from 19 February till 2 March,  Turkey hasevacuated 21.505 people from Libya. 2.982 of the evacuees are foreignnationals.

The 1049 passengers onboard of ferry M/V Ankara are not included in the above total.
This was the biggestnon-combat evacuation operation Turkey has conducted in the recentyears.
The first noticable NEOwas evacuation from Albania in March 1997. The Knox class frigate F-251 TCG Adatepe was send to Albania to pick up 253 evacuees.
The second NEO was theevacuation from Lebanon in July 2006. This time the frigates F-493TCG Gelibolu, F-504 TCG Bartın and the naval ferry A-1600 TCGIskenderun were send to Beirut to pick up 700 Turkish citizens.
As you can see theprevious operations were very small in scale of the latest NEO fromLibya. I am very happy to see that the whole operation run verysmoothly and there were no serious incidents that might endanger thelives of the evacuees.
Nobody made an officialannouncement yet but it appears that the main part of the evacuationoperation is finished. The two fast ferries M/V Osman Gazi and M/VOrhan Gazi, which made two round trips to Libya are heading to hometo Istanbul.
One of the civilianferries M/V Ankara is as mentioned above on her way to Marmaris. I donot expect her to go back to Libya again. The second ferry M/V Samsunis in Benghazi. It is possible that she will be used for theevacuation of Egyptians trapped in Libya.
Today Turkish General Staff finally shared the names of all the naval vessels that took part in the evacuation operation. They are the frigates F-240 TCG Yavuz, F-245 TCG Oruçreis, F-246 TCG Salihreis, F-492 TCG Gemlik, F-493 TCG Gelibolu, F-494 TCG Gökçeada, the replenishment tanker A-585 TCG Yarbay Kudret Güngör, and the trustworthy naval ferry A-1600 TCG Iskenderun.

The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 10)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 9)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 8)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 7)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 6)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 5)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 4)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 3)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 2)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 1)

>The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 9)

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M/V Osman Gazi. Official photo.

Yesterday the fast ferry  M/V Orhan Gazi arrived in Ras Lanuf, to embark the evacuees in this port. After completing this task she proceeded to Benghazi to pick up additional evacuees. She has left Benghazi with 1209 passengers on board and is heading to Marmaris at the moment.

Her sister M/V Osman Gazi was in Misurata yesterday morning to collect the evacuees here. Later she headed to Benghazi too. After taking more evacueess on board she has left Benghazi at 04:30 this morning with 1326 people on board.

M/V Ankara.

M/V Orhan Gazi is expected in Marmaris at 01:00 and M/V Osman Gazi is expected at 23:30. Before departing from Benghazi, naval replenishment tanker TCG Yarbay Kudret Güngör supplied oil and water to these ferries  in the port.

The ferry M/V Ankara left Tripolis today at 14:00 with 1049 passengers on board. 161 of them are Turkish citizens, rest from other nationalities. She is expected in Marmaris in 77 hours.

There is no word about M/V Samsun on today’s official announcement of the MoFA. Yesterday she was heading to Tripolis harbor.

The frigate F-246 TCG Salihreis is escorting M/V Osman Gazi while frigate F-492 TCG Gemlik is escorting M/V Orhan Gazi. The replenishment tanker A-585 TCG Yarbay Kudret Güngör and probably frigate F-493 TCG Gelibolu are staying off the coast of Libya to provide protection and logistical support to other ships.

With todays evacuations the number of people evacuated by see increased to 8351. Turkey evacuated approximately  20444 people since the beginning of the crisis.

The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 10)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 9)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 8)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 7)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 6)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 5)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 4)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 3)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 2)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 1)

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