During his visit to Djibouti earlier this month, Major General Charlie Stickland, Operation Commander of EU NAVFOR, took time out to visit the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Forces (JMSDF) deployed in maritime counter-piracy missions.
Having the Japanese ship (JS) Amagiri alongside in Djibouti, was an ideal opportunity for the General to exchange views with the Japanese counter-piracy mission on the security situation in Gulf of Aden and the Somali Basin. General Stickland also visited the Japanese logistic base in Djibouti, which hosts the Japanese Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft (MPRA) Detachment.
JS Amagiri and the Japanese MPRA are part of the Bahrain based counter-piracy mission CTF-151 who work closely with EU NAVFOR in the region. Information exchange between both counter-piracy task forces takes place on a daily basis and information on imminent threats is made available to the shipping industry on the MSCHOA website.
The Japan Maritime Self Defence Forces have been deployed in the area since 2009 initially as an independent deployer, providing escorts through the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC). However, since 2013, JMSDF's have been part of Combined Maritime Force (CMF) where they took command of the counter-piracy mission CTF- 151 in 2015 for the first time.