Tuesday, September 1, 2009
South Korean Task Force Handover
By Lt Cdr Stephen Smith RN, CMF Deputy PAO
MANAMA, Bahrain (Aug. 30, 2009) - The Republic of Korea Ship (ROKS) Dae Jo Yeong arrived in Bahrain earlier this month and visited the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) headquarters in order to begin coordination with CMF personnel. After receiving anti-piracy briefings and making final preparations to join the CMF anti-piracy mission led by Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, the South Korean flagship departed the Arabian Gulf to commence operations in the waters off Somalia.
Arriving in Djibouti on August 19th, the ROKS Dae Jo Yeong relieved her predecessor, the ROKS Munmu the Great, and immediately began escort duties for two Korean ships transiting through the Gulf of Aden.
Having been relieved of her responsibilities ROKS Munmu the Great departed for home on August 21st, concluding a highly successful deployment in support of Coalition anti-piracy efforts. When the ship first arrived on station in April 2009, Deputy Commander of the Combined Maritime Forces, Royal Navy Commodore Tim Lowe, said "They will play a vital role and join a growing number of international navies deployed to the region to deter, disrupt and thwart piracy off the Somali coast". With their mission complete, ROKS Munmu the Great's contributions justified the Commodore's confidence by ensuring the safe passage of over 300 vessels, including 48 Korean ships, and rescuing a total of seven ships from Somali pirates.