Indonesia approves plan to receive ScanEagle UAVs, helicopter upgrades from US

Ridzwan Rahmat, Singapore – Jane’s Navy International

The Indonesian House of Representatives’ commission on defence, intelligence, and foreign affairs (Komisi I) has approved a plan for the navy to receive up to 14 ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and upgrades for three Bell 412 helicopters from the US government.

The approval, which is part of an Indonesian government formality for foreign-sourced defence-related grants, was approved by the Komisi I on 26 February.

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Westmincom welcomes MNLF help to find abducted physician

ZAMBOANGA CITY — The Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) welcomed on Thursday the help of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) to rescue a physician seized by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits in Sulu.

Maj. Arvin John Encinas, Westmincom spokesperson, said they welcome any assistance from all stakeholders to rescue Dr. Daniel Moreno who was seized by ASG gunmen from his clinic in Barangay Walled City, Jolo, Sulu, on February 4.

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Nigeria unveils two vessels to tackle piracy

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has unveiled two Special Mission Vessels, DB Lagos and DB Abuja, to eliminate embarrassment caused by piracy on Nigeria’s waterways.The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, said in Lagos on Tuesday that the arrival of the vessels demonstrated the determination of the Federal Government to restore Nigeria to tackle piracy.

Local media reports on Wednesday quoted Peterside as saying that the events have brought Nigeria to near crescendo in ensuring the elimination of criminality on its waterways and to bring about absolute tranquility in the nation’s water corridors.

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Kenya takes over as head of CGPCS

EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation ATALANTA's ESPS Canarias towed the vessel belonging to Somali Navy personnel back to the Somali shore.

CGPCS: ceremony handing over the presidency between Mauritius and Kenya, this Thursday, February 27

The handover ceremony for the presidency of the Contact Group on Piracy off the coast of Somalia (GCPCS) will be held at the Sofitel Hotel, Flic en Flac, this Thursday, February 27 at 9:30 a.m. Organized on the initiative of the Republic of Mauritius, in conjunction with the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), this ceremony will mark the end of two years of presidency by Mauritius in this international platform focused on the fight against piracy off the coast of Somalia.

At the end of this event, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mauritius, Nanda Bodha, will pass the torch to Kenya which will be represented by its Minister of Defence, Monica Juma.

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Aurora tanker crew safe after approach by skiffs in Gulf of Aden

Tradewinds on Feb. 25th carried the above headline, following two suspicious approaches in the Gulf of Aden on Feb. 20th and 22nd.

On Feb. 20th, a merchant vessel reported a suspicious approach by three skiffs at 1824 UTC in the vicinity of the IRTC, SE of Al Mukalla, Yemen. The skiffs approached to within 1nm. No piracy equipment was reportedly sighted in this incident.

On Feb. 22nd, UKMTO state that another merchant vessel reported a suspicious approach by 11 skiffs with 4-5 persons on board, near Djibouti at the western end of the Gulf of Aden. Ladders were reportedly sighted in the skiffs and the vessel’s armed security team fired warning shots to deter any further approach. Both vessels are now described as safe.

While not confirmed as piracy incidents, the reports come in the wake of suggestions by some analysts that armed security teams are become less necessary in the Indian Ocean. However, ongoing instability in the Red Sea and off Yemen in the Gulf of Aden continue to present a significant risk to merchant shipping, with the Saudi Arabian coalition reporting the interception of a suspected Houthi SVBIED (boat bomb) in the Red Sea over the weekend of Feb. 22-23.

As is often stated, pirates or other threat actors only need to be successful once. The maritime industry needs to remain vigilant and avoid complacency in order to ensure smooth passage in the region. Adherence to BMP 5 should be maintained and Masters entering the region must contact UKMTO to inform them.

PIRATE ATTACKS: World shipping groups threaten to report Nigeria to UN

By Godwin Oritse

TWO International shipping groups, Baltic and International Maritime Council, BIMCO, and International Association of Independent Tanker Owners, Inter-Tanko, have threatened to report Nigeria to the United Nations, UN, and the United States of America, USA, if cogent actions are not taken to stem the recent spike in pirate attacks against their vessels and personnel.

The follow-up measure from the groups, Vanguard Maritime Report gathered, would be a deployment of international war ships to Nigerian territorial waters to secure their vessels and personnel if the situation remains the same three months afterwards.

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Captain murdered on oil tanker off Venezuela: port authority

CARACAS (Reuters) – Armed assailants murdered the captain of an oil tanker after boarding his ship while it was anchored off the coast of eastern Venezuela, according to a local union leader and a report from a Venezuelan port authority.

Six armed individuals boarded the San Ramon tanker early Monday morning in Pozuelos Bay and shot the captain, Colombian national Jaime Herrera Orozco, a report from the Puerto La Cruz port authority seen by Reuters said.

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