ITS Andrea Doria with JS Takanami in the Gulf of Aden

On Thursday 16th October 2014 the European Union Naval Force flagship, ITS Andrea Doria and Japanese Navy warship, JS Takanami, which is currently deployed with Combined Maritime Force CTF151, carried out a counter-piracy exercise at sea in the Gulf of Aden.

Exercises such as this help to strengthen the cooperation between the different counter-piracy forces that are working hard to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia.

The exercise started in the early morning, with a Bridge to Bridge communications exercise, after which Rear Admiral Guido Rando, who is the Force Commander of the EU's Operation Atalanta, flew across to JS Takanami to meet Captain Tsutomu Okawa, who is the Commander of the Escort Division Six, and Commander Hiroshi Ueda, the Commanding Officer of JS Takanami.

Speaking about the exercise, Admiral Rando commented "Although the European Union and Japan are geographically far apart, we are very much global partners, sharing common values of democracy, maritime trade and freedom of navigation. Here today in the Gulf of Aden, we share the same goal to improve security at sea for all seafarers and I see it as a great opportunity to exercise together and to learn something from each other."

Crewmembers from both warships took the opportunity to cross-deck' to the other ship in order to meet sailors from different nations and talk about their various roles on board. It was a good opportunity to exchange experiences and to share information, thereby increasing the effectiveness of the international fight against piracy.

After the meeting the two warships started the exercise by maneuvering in formation and conducting helicopter flying operations. The main part of the exercise was a simulated boarding operation, with both boarding teams working together to simulate the boarding of a suspect pirate vessel.

On completion of the exercise, both ships resumed their counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.

Source and Image Credit: EUNAVFOR