>TCG Gaziantep Replaced TCG Gökçeada As Flagship of CTF-151


According to Turkish Navy website F-494 TCG Gökçeada was replaced with F-490 TCG Gaziantep.
TCG Gaziantep will serve as the flagship of Read Admiral Sinan Ertuğrul, the commander of CTF-151 until 1 December 2010. This is the second deployment of TCG Gaziantep to the region.
TCG Gökçeada ran aground 20 day ago at Mombasa, Kenya. Although there has been no official information available neither from Turkish General Staff nor from Turkish Navy, the damage the frigate has received forced her withdrawal from the duty.
It is a shame that we have to learn such information from haters of my country who are drooling with schadenfreude. 

>CTF-151 Frees Ship From Pirates


USS Dubuque on the left and TCG Gökçeada
 on background of Magellan Star

This week’s most important naval news is the recapturing of the Antigua-Barbuda-flagged, German–owned vessel M/V Magellan Star by US Marines.

On 8th September, when the pirates aborded the ship, the crew escaped to a citadel inside the ship and called for help. The CTF-151 flagship, F-494 TCG Gökçeada, was the first ship on scene, responding to the distress call. Two additional US warships assigned to CTF-151, LPD-8 USS Dubuque and CG-59 USS Princeton were send to assist.

Although TCG Gökçeada was the first ship to arrive, it was the US Marines on board of USS Dubuque who took the Magellan Star by force. There is an excellent point of view report from one of the marines who took part in the action. In the small hours of 9th September, when US Marines boarded, the crew of M/V Magellan Star was still inside the citadel and the 9 armed pirates did not fight back, that was a clever move of them.

Afterwards, the commander of CTF-151, Rear Admiral Sinan Ertuğrul said:

“units from the multi-national maritime force, under Combined Task Force 151, are actively engaged in anti-piracy operations. This regional problem, truly, has global impact and we are completely committed to bringing the disruptive acts of piracy to an end. We have full support of the international community and will continue to do everything possible to bring security to the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin.”

Click here for the official statment.

A special forces team is always embarked on board of Turkish warships send to the region. On the official statement of Turkish Navy it was not clearly mentioned whether there is a special forces team currently on the board of TCG Gökçeada. If there is one I wonder why they have not taken actively part in the rescue operation.

>Republic Of Korea Turned Over Command Of CTF-151 To Turkey

>The Combined Maritime Forces Public Affairs of US 5th Fleet released an article about the handover of the Command in CTF-151.

Rear Admiral Sinan Ertuğrul said, “Illegal activities such as piracy and armed robbery are not only a threat to global maritime commerce, but also have disruptive effects on the freedom of navigation, which is directly linked to maritime security.”

“CTF-151 will continue its crucial role to enhance maritime security and to secure freedom of navigation in support of United Nations Security Council Resolutions,” said Ertuğrul.

Ertuğrul added that, “with indispensible support from CMF HQ, I am sure that my distinguished international staff from Turkey, Canada, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom and the U.S., and my flagship TCG Gökçeada, will represent the very best of their nations toward the achievement of our common objectives of security and peace in this deployment

For the full text click here.

>Turkish Navy To Take The Command of CTF-151


On 1st September 2010, at Mina Salman pier in Manama, Bahrain there will be a ceremony for the change of command in CTF-151.

The ceremony to be held on board of F-494 TCG Gökçeada will mark the second command period of CTF-151 by Turkish Navy. This period will end in December 2010.

Previously between May and August 2009, Rear Admiral Canar Bener commanded the task force. This time Rear Admiral Sinan Ertuğrul will be at the helm. TCG Gökova will be his flagship.

Turkish Navy prepared its own homepage about CTF-151.

>TCG Gökçeada Sails To The Gulf Of Aden And Turkey Will Lead CTF-151 Again

>Today Turkish frigate F-494 TCG Gökçeada departed from Aksaz Naval base to Gulf of Aden.

TCG Gökçeada will serve under the international anti-piracy mission, CTF-151, to fight piracy and carry out surveillance tasks.

According to some Turkish internet news portals she will replace TCG Gelibolu. This is unlikely as TCG Gelibolu is in SNMG-2 but on the other hand she is in the region since February and her replacement may be due.

Turkish admiral of the ship will take over the command of CTF 151 on September 1 and TCG Gökçeada will serve as the command ship for three months.

>TCG Gemlik to relieve TCG Gökova in CTF-151

>The Perry class (locally known as G class) frigate, F-492 TCG Gemlik will replace F-496 TCG Gökova currently serving in CTF-151.

TCG Gemlik will set sail on 1 February 2010 from Aksaz Naval Base. She will the fifth frigate to be send to Gulf of Aden. The others were TCG Giresun, TCG Gaziantep, TCG Gediz and TCG Gökova.

TCG Gemlik was the first ship to receive GENESIS modernization package.

>TCG Gökova will join CTF-151

>TCG Gökova sailed from Gölcük Naval Base on 27th September 2009, to Gulf of Aden. She will join CTF-151 and will replace TCG Gaziantep which is in the region since July 2009.

TCG Gökova was in the region as part of SNMG-2 between 16th October and 12th December 2008.

Turkish Navy prefers to send Oliver Hazard Perry also known as G class frigates to fight piracy off Somalia. The fuel efficiency of these ships is an important criteria for such missions.

TCG Gökova will remain in Gulf of Aden till February 2010.

>Turkey handed over the Command of CTF-151

>Turkey has handed over the command of CTF-151 to USA.

Since 4th May 2009 Turkish Rear Adm. Caner Bener, was commanding this international task force.

US Navy 5th Fleet Commander, Vice Admiral William E Gortney said the task force, since its creation in January, has encountered 496 pirates; 251 of whom were disarmed and released, 235 of whom were disarmed and turned over for prosecution, and 10 who were killed.
‘The pirates’ ability to carry out attacks has been further impacted by the seizure or destruction of 40 pirate vessels, and the confiscation of the their tools of the trade, including 199 small arms, 41 rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), 85 RPG projectiles, 13 GPS devices and 34 phones,’ Gortney said.

I will write my detailed thoughts about Turkish contribution to CTF-151, soon separately.

>CTF-151 helped to twart an attack to a Turkish ship

>Turkish Navy announced that Turkish frigate F-491 TCG Giresun, currently attached to CTF-151 helped a Turkish merchantman under attack 700 miles away.

Turkish flagged M/V Gökcan was attacked by pirates on 10 June 2009 off the coast of east Oman. While initiating evasive maneuvers and increasing speed the ship notified Turkish authorities that she was under attack.

TCG Giresun attached to CTF-151 was 700 miles away at that time. But she has contacted other coalition forces in the vicinity of M/V Gökcan.

Spanish frigate from NATO’s SMNG-1, F-503 SPS Blas De Lezo, the nearest warship to M/V Gökcan send her helicopter to provide distant support.

According to Turkish Navy M/V Gökcan is out of the danger area and is continuing her cruise safely.

>TCG Gaziantep to join CTF-151, in June.

>F-490 TCG Gaziantep will replace F-491 TCG Giresun in June.

TCG Giresun is protecting the civilian shipping from pirates and sea rubbers and is a part of US organised; Turkish led multinational Combat Task Force 151. She has left Turkey on 17th February.

TCG Gaziantep will depart for Gulf of Aden on 5th June 2009 and will replace TCG Giresun on 15 or 17 June 2009.

I wish her friendly winds and calm seas.

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