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.

Somali Pirates As An Advertisement Tool

A leading Turkish home appliances and consumer electronics producers currently published a TV advertisement about their record high exports.

The advertisement shows a merchant ship loaded with this companies goods being attacked by pirates in the Pacific Ocean. After taking the control of the ship the pirates are confronted by the companies appliances which were transformed into robots. The robots disarm the pirates in a non violent way and regain the control of the ship.

I am not a PR guy. So I do not want to comment on the PR/ advertisement aspects of this TV ad. But as a TV viewer I don’t enjoy watching the dangerous and violent pirates into advertisement characters. It do not agree to the aestheticization of piracy in this way. The pirates are not so pure and naive as they are shown. In the long run this ad may have a negative effect on the perceptions of the piracy on the high seas by the Turkish public opinion.

Turkish Navy And RAN Conducted Exercise Scimitar Exocet

The Australian frigate HMAS Toowoomba conducted Exercise Scimitar Exocet with Turkish warships TCG Barbaros and TCG Yarbay Kudret Gungor before the Turkish ships stopped in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for a port visit.

The exercise was conducted in the Bab Al Mandeb Strait when the Turkish ships were returning to the Red Sea after completed their anti piracy patrols.  Exercise Scimitar Exocet was conducted between the 22nd and 23rd of July 2011 in the vicinity of the Gulf of Aden and involved Toowoomba, two Turkish Navy vessels and French Mirage fighter aircraft. Commanding Officer of HMAS Toowoomba, Commander Andrew Quinn, said the exercise proved the Royal Australian Navy’s interoperability with the Turkish Navy against an air-borne attack exercise.

TCG Barbaros and  HMAS Toowoomba are both MEKO 200 design of German shipyard Blohm and Voss. Both ships have a similar armaments.

Photos: Official RAN photos.

News From Turkish Task Force And Comments Of Adm. Ertuğrul About Piracy

Passex with Omani Navy. Official Turkish Navy Photo.

The Turkish Navy Task Force is continuing its deployment and is making headlines around the Gulf region. 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.

This is from Oman Daily Observer:

Muscat City Centre (Seeb) will play host to a Turkish Navy band today from 7pm onwards. The band itself will be on board one of the four frigates which docked at the Sultan Qaboos Port in Muscat yesterday.
The band will be presenting some of Turkey’s most famous songs, in addition to numerous well-known, classic editions.

Play it once, Sam. For old times’ sake. Play for the hearts and minds of those people.

And this one is from The National of UAE:

“On the 26th we will conduct a bilateral passage exercise with the UAE navy and the participation of some units. Then we’ll continue with our programme as scheduled at sea.”

The admiral said he believed land-based solutions were the key to combating piracy: “If there’s a political solution ashore, we’ll support it.”

In the Indian Ocean, he said: “A ship there is not even a dot. How can we cover it? If you bring all the navies of the globe, it is nothing. But we do our best by positioning our ships in camps around Somalian coast, not to let them get access to the open seas, by keeping them in the region, in their territorial waters.”

But sensitivity was required, he said. “We are there to make a distinction between ordinary humble fisherman, and pirates.”

Admiral Ertugrul added: “Turkey is a valuable and very active member of the international community and that is why we believe that counter-piracy is a threat to the peace and prosperity not only to the region but worldwide as it has an impact on the maritime trade and safe navigation, maritime security.”

The Admiral, Sinan Ertuğul is no stranger to these waters. He has commanded CTF-151 in 2010. So he knows what he is talking about. I think it is safe to say that Turkish Navy sees the solution to the problem of piracy lies on land and the efforts of combating the piracy is just buying time.


TCG Giresun Saves M/V Full City (UPDATED)

 The Panama flagged and Chinese owned merchant ship M/V Full City was attacked by Somali pirates yesterday (05.05.2011) morning. She was 400 nautical miles off the coast of India.

The Turkish frigate F-491 TCG Giresun, the nearest coalition warship was ordered to proceed and help the attacked merchant ship.

During the deployment TCG Giresun contacted the Chinese naval units in the region and received the information that the crew of M/V Full City was able to hide themselves inside a citadel before being captured by the pirates. 

Upon arriving to M/V Full City, that was damaged by the rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire of the pirates, communication with the crew of the ship was established.  Later the naval special forces teams of board of the Turkish frigate, fast-roped to the ship and secured her.

When the search revealed that there were no pirates on board, and all the crew was safe and sound M/V Full City continues her journey.

The deployment of TCG Giresun turned out to be a exciting one. This is the sixth occasion where the frigate had to intervene.

The damage of RPG fire is visible

TCG Giresun Frees Yemeni Dhow
TCG Giresun Helps M/V Hanjin Tianjin
TCG Giresun Finds 2 Pirate Skiffs And Arrests The Pirates
TCG Giresun Helps M/T Guanabara
TCG Giresun Foils A Pirate Attack To M/V Kıran Asya

All photos from Turkish General Staff webpage.

UPDATE: According to influential naval blog Information Dissemination, a ASW patrol plane of Indian Navy scared the pirates on board of M/V Full City away, before the arrival of TCG Giresun.

An Indian Navy TU-142 maritime reconnaissance aircraft made several low sorties over the MV Full City, 450 nautical miles (850 km) off Karwar in Karnataka, warning the pirates to immediately leave the vessel or face the wrath of Indian Navy and Coast Guard ships that were fast closing in.

The warnings worked and the pirates scampered into the skiff from which they had boarded the vessel and sailed toward a nearby mothership, which immediately set off toward Somalia at full speed, the official said, requesting anonymity due to service rules.

And as it seems, USN found the dhow used as mothership during the attack to M/V Full City and estroyed paraphernalia on the dhow, including weapons, excessive fuel and other equipment commonly used in the commission of acts of piracy. They also sank a small skiff towed by the dhow; these skiffs are often used for actual attacks and boardings by pirates.

Turkish naval special forces team with the Chinese crew

TCG Giresun Frees Yemeni Dhow

Confiscated Weapons. Official Turkish Navy Photo.

Turkish Navy reported that F-491 TCG Giresunfreed a Yemeni fishing boat from Somali pirates on 24 April 2011.

The suspicious looking fishing dhow was sighted 300 miles of the coast of Umman. and the nearest warship, TCG Giresun was ordered to intercept the boat and to inspect it.

When the dhow was in sight of the TCG Giresun the VBSS team consisting of naval special forces boarded the Yemeni vessel. The pirates surrendered with out a gun fight.  The confiscated weapons were dumped to the sea.

The dhow turned out to be a Yemeni vessel, captured by the Somali pirates on 11 April 2011 to be used as a mother ship. The seven Yemeni fishermen on board were freed by the Turkish sailors.

The number of the arrested pirates was not mentioned in the official statement. But if you look to the photo below and count the heads, there are at least 16 pirates ready to be taken to the frigate on the white small boat.

Captured Pirates. Official Turkish Navy Photo.

Click here for the official statement.

TCG Giresun Helps Hanjin Tianjin

Turkey’s current contribution to NATO’s SNMG-2, F-491 TCG Giresun was the first ship to help the Korean merchantship Hanjin Tianjin, yesterday.
According to news reports, the Korean ship was apparently attacked by Somali pirates early Thursday. The crew of the merchant ship was able to hide inside the citadel before the pirates could take them as hostages.

TCG Giresun was,  just 80 miles away from the container ship at the time of the attack, first arrived at the scene to help South Korea’s rescue operation. TCG Giresun  provided necessary information to the Korean destroyer Choi Young  until the she arrived at the scene at 4:40 p.m.

Officials add that the international combined fleet’s Turkish warship that reached the Panama-registered freighter some three hours after the alarm went off, had already informed that there were no signs of the attackers.

Later when Korean naval commandos boarded Hanjin Tianjin they found the crew well inside the citadel. There was no sign of the pirates apart from a few rounds of ammunition and some foot prints.

TCG Giresun, comprehended two pirate skiffs at the beginning of this month and arrested the pirates.

Hat tip: Eaglespeak

TCG Giresun Finds Two Pirate Skiffs And Arrests Pirates

Somali pirates surrender to Turkish Navy

Somali pirates surrender to Turkish Navy

On 4. April 2011, TCG Giresun cought two skiffs, apparently used for piracy, Turkish General Staff reported.

A japanse naval patrol plane spotted two skiffs, approximately  70 nautical miles north of Somalia on 4 April 2011, at 09:15 local time.

The current Turkish contribution to NATO’s SNMG-2, TCG Giresun was tasked with the interception of these skiffs. The frigate arrived at the vicinity of the skiffs at around 14:14 local time. The on board helicopter stopped the skiffs and the Turkish Naval special forces teams boarded the skiffs, arresting the pirates and confiscating piracy paraphernalia.

A very interesting and obvious piece of information omitted in the announcement of Turkish General Staff is the number of the pirates arrested. The text is written in such manner as if the frigate found the skiffs and confiscated them. If there were no photos with the text it would be impossible to realize that some (my personal guess is at least 7 – 8) pirates have been arrested.

More(?) Somali pirates surrender to Turkish Navy

RPG rounds found on the skiff

RPG rounds found on the skiff

>More On The Attack To M/V 26 Ağustos


The location of the attack according to Turkish General Staff

Turkish General Staff made an official declaration about the pirate attack to M/V 26 Ağustos.

The Turkish flagged M/V 26 Ağustos, operated by Nemtaş Shipping Corporation was attacked by sea pirates in Gulf of Aden while proceeding to Bangladesh.

The shipping company informed the attack to the Turkish Navy Operations Center. As a result of telephone contact with the ship it was reported that the crew was able to hide inside a safe room in the ships engine room during the attack. The Navy Operations Center informed the crew about further safety precautions to be taken.

The incident was immediately forwarded to the CTF-151, commanded by a Turkish Admiral and the nearest CTF-151 warship to M/V 26 Ağustos, USS Shoup was dispatched to the attacked ship.

The pirates left M/V 26 Ağustos when they cannot get the ship to their control, and the skiff, believed belonging to the pirates were suppressed by fire opened from the helicopter of USS Shoup and at the end the skiffs were driven away.

During the night USS Shoup maintained VHF communication with the crew of the ship still inside the safe room to ensure that there are no pirates remaining on board.

On 28 November 2010, at 08:30 hours, by the order giving from CTF-151, a security team from USS Shoup, boarded the M/V 26 Ağustos to secure the control of the ship and to protect the crew leaving the safe room, thus the control of M/V 26 Ağustos was established.

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