New Home for Operation Sentinel

BAHRAIN

08.06.2020

Story by NAVCENT Public Affairs 

U.S. Naval Forces Central Command / U.S. 5th Fleet

The International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC) held a ribbon cutting ceremony on board Naval Support Activity Bahrain to formally open the new operational headquarters for Coalition Task Force (CTF) Sentinel, Aug. 6.

The new and improved space will enhanced the flow of information and allow for greater coordination in tracking merchant shipping as it transits through key waterways in the Arabian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and the Gulf of Oman.

Cdre. Rob Bellfield, CTF Sentinel Commander paid particular praise to the contributions made by regional partners who are members of the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC).

“Our partners in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates share their exceptional political and geographic knowledge of the region,” said Bellfield. “They know this region intimately because this is their home, which they graciously share with us. The interoperability between Sentry ships from the region and Sentinel ships from Australia, the United Kingdom and United States, as well as regional Naval Operation Centres, highlights the close relationship we have allowing CTF Sentinel to maintain an operational strength we may not otherwise achieve.”

The ceremony was limited to ensure social distancing and to mitigate against the spread of coronavirus.

Representatives from the host nation, Bahrain, were in attendance.

“We are pleased to be here today for the opening of the new headquarters of CTF Sentinel,” said Rear Adm. Mohammed Yousif Al-Asam, Commander of Royal Bahrain Naval Forces. “It marks another vital facet of the IMSC, which has proved to be effective in ensuring the freedom of navigation, the safety of all the maritime shipping in the region and the strategic passage ways.”

In acknowledging this milestone, Vice Adm. Jim Malloy, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet, Combined Maritime Forces, said, “IMSC’s success comes from standing and working together. This coalition fulfils a much-needed role. Its watchwords of “Vigilance, Surveillance, and Assurance” tell you exactly what CTF Sentinel is about and why the task force plays such a key role in the region. They are providing the much-needed collective eyes and ears to some of the world’s most congested, contested waters.”

Since the opening of the watch floor in November 2019, the Task Force Sentinel team has continued to expand in both capability and capacity.

Malloy praised the “enduring commitment of all nations that contribute to the free flow of merchant shipping through some of the world’s busiest sea lanes.”

The multi-national, British-led CTF Sentinel deploys ships and aircraft throughout the region as part of the international surveillance and detection effort, ensuring freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce in international waters.

Source: dvidshub.net

Maritime guards bust 1 ton of narcotics in S Iran

Maritime guards of Hormozgan Province have seized 1 ton of illicit drugs in Bandar Lengeh, said navy commander.

The Commander of Maritime Guards in Hormozgan Colonel Hossein Dehaki said on Sunday that border guards in Bandar Lengeh naval base managed to identify two smuggling bands following intelligence operations.

He added that they have successfully seized 1 vessel and 1 vehicle, in addition to the confiscation of 1 ton of opium.

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Source: en.mehrnews.com

Esscom needs own aircraft, says air operations chief

Sabah

By KRISTY INUS

KOTA KINABALU: The Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) needs its own aircraft to strengthen air patrols, especially within the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSzone).

Esscom Air Operations chief of staff Brig Gen Ayub Khan Mohd Khan said having air assets was vital to ensure monitoring by air could be carried out more effectively to curb cross-border crimes in hot spots and routes used as staging points by cross-border criminals.

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Source: thestar.com.my

The hidden face of the war in Cabo Delgado

By Centro para Democracie e Desenvolvimento (CDD)

The establishment of the terrorist groups al-Shabab and the Islamic State with claims to establish the Islamic Law, the corporate interests of the oil industry and the lobby of Erik Prince, a former operative of the American military elite, now at the head of a private business proposal to pacify Cabo Delgado, are considered so far by academics, press and the civil society as the motivations explaining the armed insurgency in the potentially richest province of Mozambique.

By far, heavy drug trafficking and the illegal extraction of resources are framed in the equation. However, as documented by international reports and frequent police seizures, the coast of Cabo Delgado has been an important drug corridor in East Africa since the 1990s, a position recently expanded after Tanzania and Kenya repressed the trafficking networks, pushing them into Mozambican waters.

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Source: defenceweb.co.za

Eagle Bulk Reports the Successful Resolution of Security Incident Onboard Vessel

Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. (NASDAQ: EGLE) (“Eagle Bulk” or the “Company”), one of the world’s largest owner-operators within the Supramax / Ultramax Drybulk segment, today reported that it has successfully resolved a security incident on board the vessel M/V Jaeger involving an armed security guard.

On July 21, 2020, M/V Jaeger embarked three security guards in the Indian Ocean before sailing towards the Red Sea, as the Company has done for all transits through the High Risk Area (HRA) over the past 10+ years, in accordance with industry best practices. Once on board, one of the guards did not surrender his weapon to the vessel’s Captain as is normal protocol, and then took control of and deviated the ship from its course as he voiced his grievances and demanded compensation. While the guard discharged his weapon on board the vessel, at no time did he directly threaten or harm any of the crewmembers. The remaining two guards did not participate in this action. Unbeknownst to the Company, there was an employment dispute between the guard and his employer, and he had not been paid for several months.

Eagle Bulk, in coordination with maritime security experts, worked to deescalate the situation and after a period of approximately three days, the guard surrendered his weapon and allowed the ship to continue on its original course.  Relevant authorities were kept appraised throughout the incident, and the guard was disembarked last night.

The Company maintained regular contact with the Captain throughout this event, and V Ships, the vessel’s crewing manager, also maintained an active dialogue with the crew’s families to keep them updated. Eagle Bulk and V Ships’ primary concern was the safety of the crew, and as a point of clarity, neither company was a party to the employment dispute. Eagle Bulk expresses its appreciation for the professionalism shown by the vessel’s Captain and crew throughout this ordeal. The Company is very grateful for the efforts of its crew, the V Ships team, and our partners who worked around the clock over the past 10 days to ensure a safe and successful resolution.

Due to the sensitive nature of the incident the Company will not be releasing any more information at this time.

About Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc.

Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. (“Eagle” or the “Company”) is a US-based fully integrated shipowner-operator providing global transportation solutions to a diverse group of customers including miners, producers, traders, and end users. Headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, with offices in Singapore and Copenhagen, Eagle focuses exclusively on the versatile mid-size drybulk vessel segment and owns one of the largest fleets of Supramax / Ultramax vessels in the world. The Company performs all management services in-house (including: strategic, commercial, operational, technical, and administrative) and employs an active management approach to fleet trading with the objective of optimizing revenue performance and maximizing earnings on a risk-managed basis. For further information, please visit our website: www.eagleships.com.

Source: ir.eagleships.com

Amid a Pandemic, the Jolly Roger Flies High

Asia, West Africa and the Americas experience upticks in naval gang attacks as the coronavirus pandemic stirs fears of increasing piracy.

By Kevin Drew

Late at night in the Singapore Strait, the five men quietly pulled their small speedboat alongside the bulk cargo vessel Vega Aquarius and climbed aboard the much larger ship. The men, armed with knives, were noticed by an on-duty crewman while they were on the stern of the deck.

The men rushed the crewman, who managed to escape after his cell phone was seized. Alarms were raised throughout the ship, deck lights came on and the ship’s full crew was mustered. A ship-wide search failed to find the thieves but revealed that two sets of breathing apparatus were stolen. The attacked seaman sustained minor head injuries.

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Source: usnews.com

Analysts: Abu Sayyaf Likely to Resume Kidnappings for Ransom

Eko Widianto

Cash-strapped and under pressure from security forces, Abu Sayyaf is likely to pick up its piracy and kidnapping in coming months, security experts told a recent online forum.

Five Indonesians, including a minor, are being held by Abu Sayyaf, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry said, but there have been no new kidnappings since January, according to authorities.

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Source: benarnews.org

ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre Holds Dialogue with Shipping Industry

ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre Holds Dialogue with Shipping Industry to Strengthen Maritime Situation Awareness and Deepen Cooperation in Fight against Piracy and Sea Robbery in Asia

Dialogue comes on the back of almost two-fold increase in incidents of piracy and sea robbery from January to June 2020 compared to the same period in 2019 ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC) today held a virtual dialogue with representatives of shipping associations and companies based in Singapore and Malaysia.

ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC) today held a virtual dialogue with representatives of shipping associations and companies based in Singapore and Malaysia. During the dialogue, ReCAAP ISC presented the Half-Yearly Report 2020 (January to June) during which a total of 51 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships (comprising 50 actual incidents and one attempted incident) were reported in Asia. Following the presentation, the participants had discussions on two main areas of concern; the increase of incidents in the Singapore Strait and the threat of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and off Eastern Sabah. They exchanged their assessment of the situation and their views on how to address these incidents. The participants of the shipping industry also provided views on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the industry, particularly safety measures against piracy and sea robbery incidents.

“As a provider of timely and accurate information, ReCAAP ISC is making efforts in understanding the challenges the shipping industry is facing—particularly in this unprecedented time of the COVID-19 pandemic—and incorporating their views in our activities,” said Mr. Masafumi Kuroki, Executive Director of ReCAAP ISC. “With regard to COVID-19, what we are hearing during the dialogue is that the pandemic has posed severe challenges to the shipping industry, particularly on the well-being of the seafarers. Despite these challenges, we ask the shipping industry to continue to uphold vigilance and the enforcement agencies to enhance patrol and law enforcement particularly in the areas of concern.,” concluded Mr. Masafumi Kuroki.

The organisations represented at the dialogue included the Asian Shipowners’ Association (ASA), the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO), the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO), the Sarawak & Sabah Shipowners’ Association (SSSA), the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA), the Federation of ASEAN Shipowners’ Association (FASA), BP Shipping, NYK Ship Management, Thome Group, Teekay Tankers, and Anglo Eastern Ship Management.

Source: recaap.org

Smugglers pay students, locals for tips on security forces

MMEA vessel. Image via diabgroup.com

BUKIT KAYU HITAM: Smuggling syndicates are paying locals as well as students to channel information on the movement of security forces at the border.

Categorised as a non-aggressive version of a ‘tonto’ (thug), they receive RM50 a day as payment for providing information to the syndicates.

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Source: nst.com.my

Indonesia Launches Maritime Information Center to Tackle Crimes at Sea

Ronna Nirmala and Drake Long

A new maritime information center under Indonesia’s coast guard is expected to improve and speed up coordination in fighting smuggling, illegal fishing and other crimes at sea, officials said Thursday.

The Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla) launched the Indonesian Maritime Information Center (IMIC) on Wednesday as part of efforts to support law enforcement at sea through exchanges of information, said Vice Adm. Aan Kurnia, the coast guard’s chief.

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Source: benarnews.org