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

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

Trial of 5 suspected Somali pirates to begin in Seychelles Aug. 30

Only three out of the five Somali suspects appeared in court on Monday while the other two are receiving medical assistance. (Rassin Vannier)

(Seychelles News Agency) – The trial of five suspected Somali pirates who were transferred to the Seychelles by EU NAVFOR in April last year will start in the Seychelles Supreme Court on Aug. 30.

The suspects appeared before Justice Gustave Dodin at the Supreme Court via videolink and were informed of the starting date of their trial and the hearing which will take place for four weeks.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation Atalanta transferred the five suspects to Seychellois authorities after responding to piracy attacks on April 21 last year.

The suspects were transported by Spanish flagship ESPS Navarra and transferred to Seychellois authorities in accordance with a transfer agreement between the Seychelles and the European Union with support from UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

According to the EU NAVFOR, the incident began on April 19 when five suspected pirates captured a Yemeni dhow off the coast of Somalia. Two days later the pirates attacked the Korean fishing vessel Adria with the dhow acting as a mothership in the Indian Ocean some 280 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia.

On April 23, the EU NAVFOR‘s flagship ESPS NAVARRA successfully intercepted and boarded the captured dhow vessel and apprehended the five suspected pirates.

The forces said that this is the first notable piracy incident event since October 2018.

“This incident clearly demonstrates that piracy and armed robbery at sea, off the coast of Somalia, has not been eradicated,” said operation commander Rear Admiral Antonio Martorell.

He added that “the need for a strong maritime security presence in the High-Risk Area remains critical for the deterrence and prevention of future incidents and attacks.”

Aside from the five Somalis awaiting trial, there is one Somali national serving a prison sentence in the Seychelles’ prison facility.

Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, is east of the Somali coast and has placed itself at the forefront of the fight against piracy since 2005. The island nation since then has been working with international partners to apprehend and prosecute suspected Somali pirates.

Source: seychellesnewsagency.com

Yemen coastguard see uptick in seizures of arms smuggled to Houthis

Hind Al Soulia – Riyadh – Yemen’s coastguard recently found sacks of AK-47 ammunition hidden on a trading vessel shortly followed on another operation by discovering 40 kilos of cocaine. All the shipments were headed to rebel-controlled areas of the war-torn country and come as a result of efforts to control violations of a UN arms embargo.

Col Abduljabar Zahzooh, who leads Yemen’s coastguard in the Red Sea, told The National the raid last Thursday that uncovered the hidden ammunition was the fourth time they’ve uncovered such illicit cargo in just the last few months.

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Source: alkhaleejtoday.co

Yemen seizes boat loaded with weapons in Red Sea

Saeed Al-Batati

AL-MUKALLA: Yemen coastguards in the Red Sea have seized a boat loaded with three tons of ammunition, as the country intensifies sea patrols to intercept Iranian weapon shipments to the Houthis.

A local security official said a coast guard vessel on Thursday stopped a boat sailing inside Yemeni waters near Perim Island.

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Source: arabnews.com

ECSA: Extension of EU NAVFOR Operation Atalanta vital for maritime security

In a letter to the EU High Representative Josep Borrell Fontelles, ECSA underlined the need for an extension to the current mandate and the continued European leadership in maintaining maritime security through EU NAVFOR Operation Atalanta.

“The EU has shown strong leadership in enhancing the security of ships transiting the Gulf of Aden and the Somali Basin – through which 20% of global trade passes – by the establishment of Operation Atalanta in 2008,” wrote Martin Dorsman, ECSA Secretary General. “From the heights of piracy in the region in 2010, the Operation and associated measures have proven to be effective deterrents – achieving several years of strong curtailment.”

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Source: hellenicshippingnews.com

Maritime security can help resolve the Mozambique insurgency

Mozambique Channel

by Timothy Walker

Over recent months the bloody insurgency in the northern Mozambique province of Cabo Delgado has taken an unprecedented maritime turn. If it worsens, it could have profound socio-economic and security implications for Southern Africa.

The Islamic State-inspired Ahlu-Sunnah Wal Jama’at (Al-Sunnah) has been attacking Cabo Delgado inhabitants since 2017, killing over 1,000 people to date. Al-Sunnah has launched frequent attacks on coastal villages, and used coordinated landward and amphibious attacks when it recaptured the coastal town of Mocímboa da Praia in June. This showed the insurgents that attacking from the sea was a viable option, as the risk of being intercepted by Mozambique’s maritime security actors is low.

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Source: issafrica.org

Iran denies US seizure of Iranian arms on way to Houthis in Yemen

Iran on Thursday denied that US forces had seized a boat carrying Iranian weapons to Houthi rebels in Yemen, saying the charge was aimed at extending a UN arms embargo on Tehran.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in Washington on Wednesday that US and unidentified allied forces had interdicted a vessel off Yemen’s coast on June 28 that was carrying Iranian arms to the Houthis.

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Source: jpost.com