Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Counterpiracy Task Force CTF 151 Commander Meets With Coalition Partners

Dispatches from the Front
News from U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet Combined Maritime Forces.

Dispatches from the Front:

USS GETTYSBURG, At Sea, May 20, 2009 -- Turkish Rear Adm. Caner Bener, commander, Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 visited Singapore’s RSS Persistence and Turkey’s TCG Giresun to discuss counterpiracy operations yesterday.

“It’s very important for me as the commander and also for my staff to meet with the people we coordinate with on a daily basis,” said Bener. “Being able to establish the personal connection and discuss issues face to face when possible is incredibly beneficial to our efforts in the fight against piracy.”

Bener spent part of the day meeting with the commanding officer of Singapore’s embarked task group and learning about the many capabilities Persistence brings to counterpiracy operations.

Lt. Col. Richard Lim, Singapore’s task group commander, understands the importance of protecting the world’s sea lines of communication from piracy.

Following the late morning visit to Persistence, Bener and his staff visited the Turkish frigate Giresun, whose crew has participated in CTF 151 since February.

“Being able to visit one of my country’s ships while they’re participating in such an important mission was certainly a pleasure,” said Bener. “They’ve done an incredible job since joining CTF 151 and have contributed greatly to the success of counterpiracy operations in and around the Gulf of Aden.”

Bener also noted that having Giresun, Persistence and the U.S. guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64) working side-by-side is an opportunity to share many experiences and ideas.

“Anytime you can bring professional navies together for a common mission, the chances for success multiply greatly,” said Bener. “The navies operating within CTF 151 have a long history of keeping the waterways safe for the free flow of commerce. The experiences we’ve shared will help us get even tougher on those who disrupt global economy with their acts of piracy.”

CTF 151 is a multinational task force established to conduct counterpiracy operations under a mission-based mandate throughout the CMF 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 nations.

(Report by Lt. John Fage, Combined Task Force 151 Public Affairs.)

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