Japan Ministry of Defense


 
Fuji Firepower Review

Japan Defense Focus No.17

The Homecoming Ceremony for the Replenishment Support Unit in the Indian Ocean was held with attendance by the Diet Members, senior officials of the Ministry of Defense, diplomats of countries concerned and the family members of the dispatched unit personnel.

 

SPECIAL FEATURE

Termination of Replenishment Support Activities in the Indian Ocean

The 7th Replenishment Support Unit performed the replenishment support activities in the Indian Ocean
The 7th Replenishment Support Unit performed the replenishment support activities in the Indian Ocean

The last unit for Replenishment Support Activities in the Indian Ocean returned to Japan.


Defense Minister Kitazawa issued an order to terminate replenishment support activities in the Indian Ocean effective 2400 on January 15 because the Replenishment Support Special Measures Law expired on the same day. The order directed the MSDF vessel which had engaged in replenishment support activities to return to Japan. The MSDF vessel had supported vessels from various foreign countries which participated in anti-terrorism maritime interdiction operations. Subsequently, the replenishment support activities in the Indian Ocean which had started in 2001 were terminated.





Prime Minister Hatoyama presented a special Prime Minister Certificate and a commemorative gift to the dispatched unit.
Prime Minister Hatoyama presented a special Prime Minister Certificate and a commemorative gift to the dispatched unit.
The homecoming ceremony was held with attendance by Prime Minister Hatoyama, Defense Minister Kitazawa and numerous government officials.

After arriving at Harumi wharf, the 7th Replenishment Support Unit personnel lined up on the wharf.
After arriving at Harumi wharf, the 7th Replenishment Support Unit personnel lined up on the wharf.

The last dispatched unit for the replenishment support activities, the replenishment ship “Mashuu” and the destroyer “Ikazuchi”, arrived at Harumi wharf on February 6 at 10 a.m. Captain Sakai, the Commander of the 7th Escort Division, and the ships crew, formed a line in the wharf. The homecoming ceremony started at 11 a.m. with attendance by Prime Minister Hatoyama, Defense Minister Kitazawa, 25 Diet Members, senior officials of the Ministry of Defense, diplomats from countries such as the United States, France, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and family members of the MSDF vessel’s crew.

Captain Sakai said, "In the past eight years, continual deployment of MSDF units to the Indian Ocean prevented international terrorism and maintained the safety of sea lane. Taking lessons from these activities, we will strive to new duty."

Prime Minister Hatoyama presented a special Prime Minister Certificate and commemorative gift to the unit, and praised the activities in the past eight years, addressing "The dispatched units have shown their high operational ability to other nation’s navies during the period of activity. The logistical support for the dispatched units was also outstanding. As Prime Minister, I am very proud of the professionalism of the Self-Defense Forces. I would also like to express my profound gratitude to the families and related persons of the personnel of the dispatched units. I would like to express the same thanks to the more than 13,000 personnel who were involved in the activities."

Defense Minister Kitazawa then addressed "The replenishment support activities under severe environmental conditions must be very stressful. As Minister of Defense, I am very proud of each of you who accomplished your missions and safely returned to Japan under the command of Captain Ryo Sakai, the Commander of the dispatched unit, Captain Takashi Shinagawa, the Commanding Officer of the replenishment ship “Mashuu” and Commander Tokihiko Umezaki the Commanding Officer of the destroyer “Ikazuchi”. I also hereby express my sincere and heartfelt thanks to other people for the effort and understanding to support the dispatched units, especially the family members of dispatched units personnel who stayed at home and gave them emotional support.”

The Commander in Chief, the Self-Defense Fleet, Vice-Admiral Masahiko Sugimoto, addressed "The activities in the Indian Ocean show Japan's active participation on its own initiative in the international community's efforts to prevent and eradicate international terrorism. The replenishment support activities undertaken by the Maritime Self-Defense Force to prevent terrorism in the ocean was highly evaluated by various countries. Each of you realize it keenly in the scene. You took part in the duties which could be called historical, and I sincerely hope that you take great pride in your duties in which you were involved. I also expect all of you to use this valuable experience to contribute to your duties in the future including training the unit." He ended his speech with words of appreciation to the family members of dispatched units and those who had supported the unit.

Replenishment support activities by the replenishment ship “Towada”
Replenishment support activities by the replenishment ship “Towada”

Overview and Achievements of Replenishment Support Activities in the Indian Ocean.


History and Overview of Support Activities

The maritime replenishment activities in the Indian Ocean that ended on January 15 of this year started in 2001.

On September 11, 2001, the 9/11 attacks in U.S. occurred by the international terrorist group Al Qaeda. On October 7, international forces including U.S. personnel began an attack against Al Qaeda and Taliban along the national border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Japan decided to cooperate in such operations in order to contribute to the peace and security of the international community. On October 29, 2001, the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law was enacted with 2 years duration.

On November 9, 2001, the destroyers “Kurama” and “Kirisame” and the replenishment ship “Hamana” departed for the Indian Ocean for an information-gathering mission. On December 2, the replenishment ship “Hamana” arrived at the Indian Ocean and supplied the fuel to the USS Sacramento. It was the first MSDF replenishment activity in the Indian Ocean. From then on, SDF conducted maritime replenishment activities as its main operation, supplying vessel fuel, fuel for embarked helicopters, and water to various countries’ vessels which engaged in anti-terrorism operations.

Since the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law had a two-year duration, the Japanese government extended it several times and continued MSDF replenishment activity. However, on November 2, 2007, the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law expired. Consequently, the replenishment activities that had continued for six years came to an end, and Minister of Defense gave an order for withdrawing the replenishment ship “Tokiwa” and the destroyer “Kirisame”.

After that, the Replenishment Support Special Measures Law which was designed to resume the maritime replenishment support activities was enacted on January 16, 2008. On January 24, the first unit with the replenishment ship “Oumi” and the destroyer “Murasame” were dispatched to the Indian Ocean under this law and the replenishment support activities were resumed to prevent international terrorism and maintain the peace and stability of the world.Including the suspension of the activities, the replenishment activities continued for more than 8 years. However, the law expired on January 15 and, Japan's replenishment support activities in the Indian Ocean were terminated following the completion of the 7th replenishment mission. (“Oumi” and the destroyer “Ikazuchi”)


Achievements of the Replenishment Support Activities

From December 2001 to October 2007 (activities based on the Former Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law) and from February 2008 to January 15, 2010 (activities based on the Replenishment Support Special Measures Law), approximately 510,000 kl of fuel for military vessels (total number of replenishments: 939), approximately 1,200 kl of fuel for shipboard helicopters (total number of replenishments: 85), and approximately 11,000 tons of water (total number of replenishments: 195) were supplied.

The total number of dispatched personnel was approximately 13,300. The total number of dispatched replenishment ships was 27. The total number of dispatched destroyers was 44.

Achievements based on the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law

(December 2001 to October 2007)

Number of replenishment operations by country
Country Refueling of ships Water supply Refueling of shipboard helicopters
USA 353 0 31
UK 33 0 4
France 100 0 3
Germany 29 0 9
Pakistan 150 128 14
Canada 43 0 3
New Zealand 15 0 0
Netherlands 11 0 0
Italy 40 0 3
Spain 10 0 0
Greece 10 0 0
Total 794 128 67
Amount of replenishment (total)
Fuel for ships: approximately 490,000 kl
Water supply:approximately 6,930 tons
Fuel for shipboard helicopters:approximately 990 kl
Total personnel dispatched:10,900
Total vessels dispatched
Replenishment ships:20
Destroyers:37
Other:2
Achievements based on the Replenishment Support Special Measures Law

(February 2008 to January 15 2010)

Number of replenishment operations by country
Country Refueling of ships Water supply Refueling of shipboard helicopters
Pakistan 64 64 3
France 28 0 1
Germany 13 0 4
Canada 8 1 2
USA 14 0 4
UK 13 2 4
New Zealand 1 0 0
Denmark 4 0 0
Total 145 67 18
Amounts supplied by country
Country Refueling of ships (approx. kl) Water supply (approx. tons) Refueling of shipboard helicopters (approx. kl)
Pakistan 9,060 4,165 20
France 3,990 0 5
Germany 2,190 0 70
Canada 1,915 10 30
USA 6,365 0 60
UK 2,040 20 30
New Zealand 310 0 0
Denmark 1,130 0 0
Total 27,005 4,195 210
Total personnel dispatched:2,400
Total vessels dispatched
Replenishment ships:7
Destroyers:7
 
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