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

Armed security guards required in Bénin

As a result of the recent increase of pirate attacks in the Gulf of Guinea, governmental authorities of Bénin have taken pre-emptive measures to prevent such attacks in their territorial waters through a new decree, Concerning Means of Protection of Ships in the Territorial Waters of Bénin.

Any ship bound for a port in Bénin with an armed protection team on board, is required to send through its ship agent, a request for permission to enter Benin’s territorial waters with its own armed onboard protection team.

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Source: hellenicshippingnews.com

BW Reveals Fate of Kidnapped Crew

by Andreas Exarheas

BW Offshore has revealed that all of its employees who were kidnapped from its Sendje Berge FPSO back in July have been safely released.

“The company would like to extend its gratitude to those involved in the safe release of everyone who was abducted from the FPSO Sendje Berge,” the company said in a statement posted on its website late last week.

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Source: rigzone.com

Crew Kidnapped from Liberian Flagged Tanker Offshore Lagos

Armed pirates have reportedly kidnapped 13 seafarers from a Liberian-flagged product tanker in the Gulf of Guinea off West Africa, continuing a rise in attacks on vessels in the world’s most dangerous piracy hot spot.

The Curcacao Trader was approached by eight armed individuals aboard a single speedboat and boarded 232 nautical miles southwest of Lagos, Friday, July 17, 2020. Among those abducted are seven Russian nationals, according to the Russian embassy in Nigeria. The other five crew members taken from the ship are believed to be Ukranian.

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Source: liberianobserver.com

Troops deactivate 25 illegal refineries, impound 342,000 ltrs of AGO in South-South

By Sumaila Ogbaje

Abuja, Aug. 6, 2020 The Defence Headquarters says troops of Operation Delta Safe, discovered and deactivated 25 illegal refineries and impounded 342,000 litres of illegally refined AGO in the South-South in the last two weeks.

The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, disclosed this while giving updates on military operations across on Thursday in Abuja.

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Source: naija247news.com

Troops raid pirates, militants camp, kill six in Bayelsa

The Defence Headquarters says the troops of Operation DELTA SAFE on Tuesday in Bayelsa State raided pirates and militants’ camp sand Kidnappers’ hideouts, eliminating six criminals.

The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.

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Source: theeagleonline.com.ng

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

Nigeria: Tackling Resurgence of Militancy, Sea Robbery

Chiemelie Ezeobi writes that the recently flagged off Exercise Calm Waters 11 has recorded some gains in tackling the resurgence of militancy and sea robbery off Nigerian waters, up to the Exclusive Economic Zone

Violent attacks against ships and their crews have risen in 2020, with global figure of 77 seafarers taken hostage or kidnapped for ransom since January. This was disclosed by the ICC International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) latest piracy report.

According to the bureau, the Gulf of Guinea (GoG), off West Africa is increasingly dangerous for commercial shipping, accounting for just over 90 per cent of maritime kidnappings worldwide. Meanwhile ship hijackings are at their lowest since 1993.

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Source: allafrica.com

Yaounde Code of Conduct taking shape in the Gulf of Guinea

Security professionals in the Gulf of Guinea know that if they want to spot criminals in the open water, the best place to look is along a maritime border.

Historically, this has been the space where pirates, illegal fishermen and traffickers felt safest knowing that, if confronted, they could flee into another country’s waters.

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Source: defenceweb.co.za