China, Pakistan deploy warships to the Middle East for security operations

Ridzwan Rahmat

Amid ongoing tensions between Tehran and Washington, China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and the Pakistan Navy have deployed warships to undertake maritime security operations in the Middle East.

An official from Pakistan’s inter-services public relations office confirmed with Jane’s on 9 January that the Pakistan Navy has deployed a Zulfiquar (F-22P)-class guided-missile frigate for maritime security operations in the Persian Gulf, and the Gulf of Oman.

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Source: janes.com

Iran Tensions May Prompt S. Korea to Rethink US-led Patrols

Persian Gulf/SoH

The escalating U.S.-Iran conflict is complicating South Korea’s possible participation in a U.S.-led maritime coalition to protect international shipping in and near the Strait of Hormuz.

There are increasing calls in South Korea for the government to reject, or at least rethink, U.S. requests to join the force, amid fears South Koreans could get caught up in the violence.

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Source: newdelhitimes.com

Operation Sankalp: Indian Navy commences maritime security operations for merchant vessels in Strait of Hormuz

Indian Navy

New Delhi: In wake of the deteriorating situation in the Middle East, India has launched a maritime security operation to promptly respond to the emergency situations for Indian sea vessels.

The Indian Navy on Wednesday said that they have commenced security operations called ‘Operation Sankalp’ in order to ensure safe passage of Indian Flag Vessels through the Strait of Hormuz.

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Source: timesnownews.com

Rise of pirates in the Caribbean

By Rinsy Xieng

While pirates are becoming rarer off the Horn of Africa, particularly in Somalia, since warships patrolled the area, the number of acts of piracy and robbery is steadily increasing, with a sharp upsurge in Caribbean. For example, 28 events were recorded in 2019 off the island of Grenada, compared to only 3 the previous year. In the West Indies, it is mainly pleasure boats that are targeted.

Boaters and merchant ships

Pirates no longer hesitate to board large vessels, such as merchant vessels, even though the palm goes back to the Gulf of Guinea, where almost a third of the attacks took place there according to the report of the MICA Center, the center of expertise French Maritime Safety, which has just published its annual report. In 2019, for example, the organization recorded 360 events related to piracy and robbery. This figure has been stable for four years but less than it was 10 years ago.

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Source: rci.fm

Kenya’s tough task as it leads regional anti-piracy efforts

By Samuel Baya

Kenya will be handed a heavy responsibility when it officially takes over the chairmanship of a regional anti-piracy body. Kenya was elected to chair the Contact Group on Piracy Off the Coast of Somalia (CGCPS) last year.

The post comes with the onerous task of ensuring that cases of piracy and other maritime insecurity incidents are comprehensively addressed.

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Source: businessdailyafrica.com

MIDDLE EAST: JWC: ‘No dramatic change to strategic maritime picture in the Gulf’

Written by Ian Taylor

Following discussions over the possible impact of last week’s US airstrike on Baghdad airport which killed the Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, the Joint War Committee (JWC) underwriters group has judged that while there are increased tensions in the Gulf region there has – for now at least – been ‘no dramatic change’ to the level of maritime security risk.

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Source: bunkerspot.com

2020-001B-Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Indian Ocean-Threat to Commercial Vessels from Iran and its Proxies

Persian Gulf/SoH
Description:

Multiple maritime threats have been reported in the vicinity of the geographic areas described above. On January 2, 2020, the U.S. military took decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad. The Iranian response to this action, if any, is unknown, but there remains the possibility of Iranian action against U.S. maritime interests in the region.

The U.S. government is continually assessing the maritime security situation in the region to safeguard freedom of navigation, ensure the free flow of commerce, and protect U.S. vessels, personnel, and interests. U.S. Fifth Fleet Naval Cooperation and Guidance for Shipping (NCAGS) has the latest information on the dynamic maritime security threats and operational environment in this region. U.S. commercial vessels are advised to exercise caution and coordinate vessel voyage planning for transits of the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Oman, North Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Red Sea with NCAGS and follow NCAGS’s recommendations and guidance whenever possible.

U.S. commercial vessels operating in this area should review U.S. Maritime Advisory 2019-012, which contains contact information for U.S. Fifth Fleet NCAGS. This Alert will automatically expire on January 13, 2020. For more information about U.S. Maritime Alerts and Advisories, including subscription details, please visit http://www.marad.dot.gov/MSCI.

Source: maritime.dot.gov