27 May 2009

Task Force 151 Strengthens International Ties Against Somali Piracy

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USS GETTYSBURG, At Sea - Turkish Rear Adm. Caner Bener, commander of Combined Task Force 151, and Capt. Richard Brown, commanding officer of the guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg, hosted the commander of Japan's Escort Division Eight for a discussion on counter-piracy.

"I can't say enough how vital fostering our ties with other professional navies is," said Bener. "Without the assistance of our international partners in the area, our fight against piracy wouldn't be as successful as it has been. There's a large area to cover, we can't do it alone." 

Brown gave Capt. Hiroshi Goto, the Japanese escort division's commander, a short briefing on current counter-piracy operations and discussed recent successes and challenges. 

"What Gettysburg, the U.S. and our coalition partners have been able to achieve in the Gulf of Aden is to keep the sea lines of communication free and clear," he said. "It's a difficult task given the amount of space we have to cover but being able to synchronize our efforts with other naval ships to maximize coverage in the area is a major step towards stamping out piracy and keep global commerce flowing."

Gettysburg recently apprehended 17 suspected pirates and their mothership while serving as flagship for CTF 151, a Turkish-led multi-national task force established to conduct counter-piracy operations under a mission-based mandate throughout the Combined Maritime Forces area of responsibility to actively deter, disrupt and suppress piracy in order to protect global maritime security and secure freedom of navigation for the benefit of all ations.

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