Thursday, April 23, 2009

Singapore Navy Joins Counterpiracy CTF 151

From Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brian K. Fromal,Combined Task Force 151 Public Affairs

MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- A Singaporean counterpiracy task group joined Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 this week and began conducting operations alongside other Coalition naval forces off the coast of Somalia.

Commanded by Navy Col. Bernard Miranda, the Singaporean task group includes the Landing Ship Tank (LST), RSS Persistence (209), and joins other naval forces currently conducting counterpiracy operations as part of CTF 151.

"Extensive international coordination is the key to maximizing the maritime counterpiracy mission," said Rear Adm. Michelle Howard, commander, CTF 151. "Having Singapore sailing alongside us will strengthen our ability to deter piracy and make the waterways safer for everyone."

The Singapore Navy has operated as part of the Combined Maritime Forces since 2004 and is a longstanding partner and vital coalition member. They have provided support to CTF 158 in the North Arabian Gulf.

Prior to joining CTF-151, Persistence's staff visited the guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64) to discuss counterpiracy operations.

"We were honored to welcome the crew of Persistence aboard Gettysburg," said Capt. Rich Brown, Gettysburg's commanding officer. "We were excited to pass on our counter-piracy experience and to have them join the CTF 151 team. Persistence is an exceptionally well suited platform for the counterpiracy mission, and we look forward to building on an already strong professional relationship."

CTF 151 is a multinational task force conducting counterpiracy operations to detect and deter piracy in and around the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Red Sea. The task force was established to create a lawful maritime order and conduct Maritime Security Operations.