EU, US Military Leaders Share Insights on Maritime Security Operations
Dispatches from the Front:
USS SAN ANTIONIO At sea, Jan. 18, 2009 -- A European Union commander met with the commander of Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17) Jan. 16 to exchange lessons learned, insights and perspectives on maritime security operations.
"We have to work together for the common good, ensure maritime safety and well-being in this area," said Commodore Antonios Papaioannou of Greece who is the commander of European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia. "How we can do that is by having the appropriate organizations and appropriate deconflictions."
EU NAVFOR Somalia was established in November to contribute to the protection of vessels of the World Food Programme delivering food aid to displaced persons in Somalia and to aid in the protection of vulnerable vessels off the Somali coast through the deterrence, prevention and repression of acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast.
"Maritime security is a mission shared by the international community," said Rear Adm. Terry McKnight, commander, CTF 151. "The United States Navy cannot do it alone."
CTF 151 is a multinational task force conducting counter-piracy operations to detect and deter piracy in and around the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Red Sea. It was established to create a lawful maritime order and develop security in the maritime environment. The San Antonio is serving as the CTF 151 flagship.
"We all have one goal in mind, which is to ensure the commerce of the free world and to make sure that all shipping can transit the sea lanes without interference from pirates or anything else," explained McKnight. "Working with the coalition, we'll make this a very successful operation."
(Report by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (AW/SW) Monique K. Hilley, Combined Task Force 151.)
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