EU-funded exercise to boost maritime security cooperation

Through the MASE programme funded by the European Union, the Indian Ocean Commission organised the first MASE POLMAR 2019 wide-ranging regional exercise from 16 to 20 October in Madagascar.

The event brought together representatives of the MASE agreements’ signatories countries: Comoros, Djibouti, France, Reunion Island, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Somalia as an observer, International liaison officers and watch-standers from the Regional Maritime Information Fusion Centre and the Regional Coordination of Operation Centre, as well as a representative of the European Navy – EUNAVFOR.

To continue reading, please click here.

Source: neweurope.eu

Japan notifies US of plan to send defence forces to Middle East

Persian Gulf/SoH

TOKYO — Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi on Tuesday informed the United States’ government that Tokyo plans to send defence forces to help safeguard waterways in the Middle East without joining a US-led maritime security coalition, Japanese officials said.

During phone talks between Motegi and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the two also pledged close co-operation on Middle East issues so as to ease tensions, which remain high amid a standoff between the US and Iran.

To continue reading, please click here.

Source: vietnamnews.vn

 

RAAF deploys P-8A Poseidon to Middle East for maritime security

File image of US Navy P-8A Poseidon

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has deployed a P-8A Poseidon aircraft to the Middle East in support of a US-led internal maritime security coalition.

Australia is a member of the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC), which includes the US, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UK.

To continue reading, please click here.

Source: airforce-technology.com

Royal Navy guardians protect 7m tonnes of shipping in Gulf

Over seven million tonnes of British shipping – the equivalent of around 20 wartime convoys – have been guided safely through the Strait of Hormuz by the Royal Navy.

HMS Montrose, her sister frigate HMS Kent and destroyers HM Ships Duncan and Defender – have accompanied British flagged and registered merchant ships in and out of the Gulf amid tensions with Iran.

Grateful seafarers have labelled the Royal Navy vessels ‘guardians of the Gulf’ for their efforts providing protection in the narrow waters separating Iran on the north shore and Oman and the UAE since the beginning of July.

The warships, plus their helicopters, have been used to accompany and watch over merchant shipping to ensure they can pass into and out of the Gulf safely, keeping international trade – especially oil and natural gas – flowing in the face of threats.

Most recently HMS Kent has borne the burden of patrols, spending three weeks in the strait, providing safe passage for in excess of 800,000 tonnes of shipping.

“We are a close-knit team and I am extremely proud of what my sailors have achieved over the last few months,” said Commander Andrew Brown, HMS Kent’s Commanding Officer.

The ship uses her Wildcat helicopter to scour hundreds of square miles of the Gulf for any signs of danger – merchant shipping needs accompanying through an area twice the size of Wales.

“Controlling our helicopter in such a busy area of the world can at times be extremely stressful,” said Leading Aircraft Controller Lewis Jackson. “The constant training we receive enables us to do our job in a calm and safe manner and at an extremely professional level.”

Beyond the physical and mental challenges of the escort mission, the 200-plus sailors and Royal Marines aboard the warships are still contending with demanding temperatures – in the high 30s Celsius by day – even at the end of September.

HMS Duncan, which returned to Portsmouth at the weekend, made 29 runs through the Strait, watching over 1,287,209 tonnes of merchant shipping.

Commander Tom Trent said his ship’s company found the mission challenging but also “very rewarding. We had emails from the ships we helped thanking us for getting them through safely.

“Protecting shipping is what the Royal Navy has done for hundreds of years. The whole operation is a reminder of how critical the Royal Navy is.”

Operations in the Strait of Hormuz to protect British shipping continues on a daily basis.

Source: royalnavy.mod.uk

UK tanker leaves Iranian port after being seized in July

Persian Gulf/SoH

DUBAI (Reuters) – The British-flagged Stena Impero tanker left Iran’s Bandar Abbas port on Friday after being detained since July by Iranian forces and was heading toward international waters.

The Stena Impero was seized by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in the Strait of Hormuz waterway for alleged marine violations two weeks after Britain detained an Iranian tanker off the territory of Gibraltar. The Iranian ship was released in August.

To continue reading, please click here.

Source: reuters.com

British tanker Stena Impero still held in Iran: owner

Persian Gulf/SoH

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Iranian authorities have yet to release the British-flagged tanker Stena Impero even though the vessel, seized by Iranian forces in July, has been cleared to leave port, its Swedish owner said on Wednesday.

“At this point we are simply waiting for the guards onboard to leave and for the ship to receive clearance to sail,” Stena Bulk Chief Executive Erik Hanell said in a text message.

To continue reading, please click here.

Source: reuters.com

US eyes 55-ship surveillance mission off Iran in Nov.: source

Persian Gulf/SoH

WASHINGTON (Kyodo) — U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is planning to form an international maritime surveillance mission involving 55 vessels in a key waterway off Iran in November, a source familiar with the plan said Thursday.

The plan came to light amid heightened tensions between the United States and Iran following recent attacks on major oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, an incident Washington has blamed on Tehran.

To continue reading, please click here.

Source: mainichi.jp