At CCTF151 Change of Command Ceremony,
Thursday 29 June 2017
Your Excellency Hatun Demirer
Ambassador of Turkey
Vice Admiral Donegan
Commander, Combined Maritime Forces
Vice Admiral Sukur Korul
Commander of Northern Sea Area Command of Turkish Navy
Lieutenant General Masuko,
Director General, Operations Department, Joint Staff of Japan
Excellencies, Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen
Assalamu Alaykum, Iyi Gunler , Konichiwa, good afternoon.
As a proud maritime nation, Japan understands the importance of free flow of global commerce, and the significance of Freedom of Navigation. We are committed to continuing our important role in underpinning global maritime security.
With a staff of 25 men and women representing 11 countries, it has been a great honor to command CTF151 over the last four months. From the beginning I have encouraged my team to think outside the box and with ‘Striking Originality’. My C3 (C cubed) principles of communication, cooperation and commitment have served us well too, especially when faced with challenges of the first successful pirate attack in five years, a maritime industry that had reduced its adherence to BMP4 and limited air and surface assets at my disposal.
Our Counter Piracy Validation Exercise, ‘Samurai Blade’ sharpened Standard Operation Procedures and overtly demonstrate our intent and credibility in the region; and Focused Operation ‘Samurai Sword’, which incorporated numerous air and surface assets across a large swath of the Gulf of Aden and Socotra gaps, deterred piracy and achieved extensive intelligence-led ISR collect on pattern of life to an unprecedented level.
At the Operational Level, working relationship with EUNAVFOR and CMF are now stronger than ever, and at the Higher Tactical level our coordination with CTF150 and CTF465 has been exemplary in terms of effectiveness and efficiency.
Clear from the start of my command was the critical joint effort between the military and maritime industry in countering the determined pirate. The SHADE and MIEVOM conferences allowed us to re-enforce the importance of sharing information to increase risk awareness, and to encourage support for BMP4 adherence.
And perhaps one of the most significant successes has been the initiation of broader discussions with Independent Deployers’ nations. Communications between us has increased, and potentially unprecedented levels of coordination and cooperation for count piracy are in place – such as the Indian Navy’s exemplary Indirect Support during Focused Operation ‘Samurai Sword’ last month, and the upcoming bespoke Counter Piracy Validation Exercise in September 2017.
As part of my Influence and Re-assurance Mission set, Key Leadership Engagements have been conducted in 8 cities within 6 regional countries. Political and military relationships have been strengthened; additional force flow support encouraged and received; Capacity Building opportunities identified and executed – such as in Djibouti with JS TERUZUKI; and significant improvements in coordination and sharing of information across regional maritime security stakeholders achieved.
While my team has excelled, it could not have done so without the terrific support of the higher HQ. I would like to personally and publicly thank: Vice Admiral Donegan for his strong and consistent leadership; Commodore Warrender for his excellent support and guidance throughout, and of course the CMF staff for their professionalism and energetic cooperation - always. Thank you.
To Rear Admiral Lebas and his CTF150 staff: I am extremely grateful for your efforts of support in sharing limited assets between us when the operational demands were high – Merci Boucoup!
And to Col Almarahleh and his impressive CTF152 team – Shukran for your friendship extended to me and my team.
I would also like to thank the Japanese Ambassador, His Excellency Asako, and his excellent staff for the great support to us during our stay in Bahrain; and it is a great honor to welcome Vice Admiral Sukur Korul and Lieutenant General Yutaka Masuko to today’s Change of Command ceremony.
Rear Admiral Sezenler, as I hand over to you, I wish you and your bright and eager staff all the best during your tenure, and very much look forward to hearing of your great success in command of CTF151.
Sirs, Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for the honor of your presence here at the CTF151 Change of Command ceremony;
Shukran, Teşekkür Ederim, Arigato, Thank you!