Japan Ministry of Defense


 
JMSDF's P-3C in patrol operation.
No.18 AUGUST 2010

JMSDF's P-3C
in patrol operation.

Anti-piracy Operations off the Coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden

Replacement by 5th Surface Unit

The 4th surface unit engaged in anti-piracy operations was replaced by the 5th surface unit commanded by Captain Yasuhiko Shinomura, the commander of the 1st Escort Division. The 5th surface unit destroyer "Yuugiri"(Commanding Officer: Commander Toru Suzuki) departed from Ominato Base on May 8. And another 5th surface unit destroyer "Murasame"(Commanding Officer: Commander Masataka Kanno) also left Yokosuka Base on May 10. The 5th surface unit began the 142nd (the 101st under the Anti-Piracy Measures Law) escort operation on June 5. The 5th surface unit consists of about 420 personnel and 8 Japan Coast Guard Officers are on board, too.

Escort Operations performed by the Surface Unit

March
  1. Number of escort operations: 10 (The 112th - 121st escort operation)(The 71st to the 80th escorts operation under Japan's Anti-Piracy Measures Law)
  2. Number of escorted vessels: 75 (Accumulated total of 627 escorted vessels since the start of operations under Japan's Anti-Piracy Measures Law )
    • [Breakdown]
      Japanese-registered ships: 1 (Accumulated total of 5 escorted vessels under Japan's Anti-Piracy Measures Law )
      Foreign ships operated by Japanese shipping companies: 16 (Accumulated total of 175 escorted vessels under Japan's Anti-Piracy Measures Law )
      (No Japanese citizens was on board)
      Foreign ships other than above: 58 (Accumulated total of 447 escorted vessels under Japan's Anti-Piracy Measures Law )
      * The above record does not include the 1st-41st escort operation performed as Maritime Security Activities, which were performed before the establishment of the Anti-Piracy Measures Law.
      ** If the Anti-Piracy Measures Law had not come into force, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers would not have been able to legally escort 58 of the 75 escorted vessels(the 58 foreign ships not operated by Japanese shipping companies).
  3. Instances when Japanese destroyers provided information to other nations' warships and/or commercial ships

    On March 19, before the Japanese destroyers started their 118th escort mission, they received information from a commercial ship, which was supposed to join the convoy on, two small ships were approaching to the commercial ship. A Japanese helicopter was engaged in patrol operations when it confirmed the small ships. However, it did not find anything particularly suspicious, so reported as such to the commercial ship.

    On March 29, during their 121st escort mission, Japanese destroyers received information from relevant organizations that a Panama -registered commercial ship "Iceberg 1", which had not joined the convoy, was hijacked by pirates. Later on, a Japanese helicopter that was based on the destroyer "Onami" was engaged in patrol operations for the convoy when it detected the hijacked commercial ship, and reported to relevant countries and organizations. After that, the helicopter returned to the destroyer.

April
  1. Number of escort operations: 10 (The 132nd - 141st escort operation)(The 91st to the 100th escorts operation under Japan's Anti-Piracy Measures Law)
  2. Number of escorted vessels: 86 (Accumulated total of 713 escorted vessels since the start of operations under Japan's Anti-Piracy Measures Law )
    • [Breakdown]
      Japanese-registered ships: 3 (Accumulated total of 8 escorted vessels under Japan's Anti-Piracy Measures Law )
      Foreign ships operated by Japanese shipping companies: 24 (Accumulated total of 199 escorted vessels under Japan's Anti-Piracy Measures Law )
      (Out of the 24 foreign ships, Japanese citizens were on board 3 ships)
      Foreign ships other than above: 59 (Accumulated total of 506 escorted vessels under Japan's Anti-Piracy Measures Law )
      * The above record does not include the 1st-41st escort operation performed as Maritime Security Activities, which were performed before the establishment of the Anti-Piracy Measures Law.
      ** If the Anti-Piracy Measures Law had not come into force, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers would not have been able to legally escort 56 of the 86 escorted vessels(the 56 foreign ships not operated by Japanese shipping companies).
May
  1. Number of escort operations: 10 (The 132nd - 141st escort operation)(The 91st to the 100th escorts operation under Japan's Anti-Piracy Measures Law)
  2. Number of escorted vessels: 101 (Accumulated total of 814 escorted vessels since the start of operations under Japan's Anti-Piracy Measures Law )
    • [Breakdown]
      Japanese-registered ships: 0 (Accumulated total of 8 escorted vessels under Japan's Anti-Piracy Measures Law )
      Foreign ships operated by Japanese shipping companies: 22 (Accumulated total of 221 escorted vessels under Japan's Anti-Piracy Measures Law )
      (Out of the 22 foreign ships, a Japanese citizens was on board 1 ship)
      Foreign ships other than above: 79 (Accumulated total of 585 escorted vessels under Japan's Anti-Piracy Measures Law )
      * The above record does not include the 1st-41st escort operation performed as Maritime Security Activities, which were performed before the establishment of the Anti-Piracy Measures Law.
      ** If the Anti-Piracy Measures Law had not come into force, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers would not have been able to legally escort 79 of the 101 escorted vessels (the 79 foreign ships not operated by Japanese shipping companies).
  3. Instances when Japanese destroyers provided information to other nations' warships and/or commercial ships

    On May 4, at 5:46pm(Japan Standard Time), a Japanese helicopter based on the destroyer "Onami" was engaged in patrol operations for the 133rd escorted convoy when it detected a suspicious boat that was located approximately ten nautical miles north of the convoy(12 commercial ships) and carried a ladder-like item. The destrpyer "Onami" warmed the boat of its presence via VHF radio and Long Range Acoustic Device to prevent any acts of piracy, and radiated a searchlight on it. The helicopter continued monitoring the boat and provided this information to relevant countries and organizations. Afterwards, a Greek warship that had received information dispatched her ship-based helicopter. This incident was officially announced on May 4.
    * Later on, the Greek warship fired warning shots and stopped the boat from trying to flee. While the boat tried to escape, the crew of the boat was seen to dispose of some items. After the Greek warship conducted an on-board inspection, the boat was released.

Replacement by the 4th Air Unit

The 3rd air unit which had performed flight operations was taken over by the 4th air unit. The 4th air unit, commanded by Captain Yasuharu Kimura, consists of about 150 personnel from the Maritime Self-Defense Force and mainly from the regiment of Central Readiness Force, the Ground Self-Defense Force. The 4th air unit has began its operation since June 8.

Activities of P-3C Patrol Aircraft

March
  1. Number of flights: 24 (Accumulated total :183)
  2. Flight hours Accumulated : Approximately 190 (Accumulated total: approximately 1,440 )
  3. Number of visually confirmed commercial ships: Approximately 1,500 (Accumulated total: approximately 12,300)
  4. Number of times information provided to Japanese destroyers, foreign warships, and/or commercial ships: Approximately 250 (Accumulate total: approximately 1,400)
  5. Instances when Japanese P-3C provided information to other nations' warships and/or commercial ships

    On March 24, a Japanese P-3C was engaged in patrol operations when it received information from relevant organizations regarding the presence of three small ships that had attacked a commercial ship, and therefore the P-3C investigated the area. Though the P-3C was unable to identify those ships, it confirmed the location of a group of fishing vessels, in which the three small ships could be present. The P-3C reported this to nearby warships and returned to patrol operations.

April
  1. Number of flights: 25 (Accumulated total: 208)
  2. Flight hours: Approximately 190 (Accumulated total: approximately 1,630 )
  3. Number of visually confirmed commercial ships: Approximately 1,700 (Accumulated total :approximately 14,000)
  4. Number of times information provided to destroyers, and foreign warships, and/or commercial ships: Approximately 250 (Accumulate total: approximately 1,650)
  5. Instances when Japanese P-3C provided information to other nations' warships and/or commercial ships Nothing particular was reported.
May
  1. Number of flights: 25 (Accumulated total: 233)
  2. Flight hours: Approximately 190 (Accumulated total: approximately 1,820 )
  3. Number of visually confirmed commercial ships: Approximately 1,600 (Accumulated total: approximately 15,600)
  4. Number of times information provided to Japanese destroyers, foreign warship, and/or commercial ships: Approximately 200 (Accumulated total: approximately 1,850)
  5. Instances when Japanese P-3C provided information to other nations' warships and/or commercial ships

    On May 15, a Japanese P-3C was engaged in patrol operations when it detected a suspicious small-sized anchored boat on the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC). It carried two outboard engines and an item or items hidden under a plastic cover. The P-3C reported as such to nearby warships. An Italian warship took over surveillance activities and the P-3C returned to patrol operations.