Coalition Efforts Build Lawful Maritime Order

Monday, January 21, 2008
From Combined Maritime Forces Public Affairs

Coalition forces recently completed a coordinated operation in the Gulf of Aden and Horn of Africa to deter and disrupt activities and incidents that affect maritime security and stability. "Coalition efforts build a lawful maritime order for regional security," said Commodore Keith Winstanley, Royal Navy, Deputy Combined Maritime Forces. "When we work as a coalition with regional partners, we are able to complement regional countries efforts and really make a difference."

Units from coalition forces included HMCS Charlottetown (FFH 339), a Canadian Halifax class frigate; RFA Argus (A 135), a Royal Navy Aviation training ship; and USS Carney (DDG 64), an American Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer, as well as air assets. The coalition forces also worked alongside Yemen Coast Guard forces and representatives from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, studying maritime traffic patterns to better understand the smuggling activity. Coalition forces also assisted Yemeni Coast Guard units in apprehending three human smuggling vessels during the operation that went from Jan. 6–14.

"Illegal activities in the maritime domain have the potential to impact many people and countries," said Commodore Winstanley. "Once unlawful and criminal activity takes root, the impact and scope can grow to have significant impact on security and stability." The flexibility and capability of U.S. and Coalition countries make them well-positioned to respond to any potential emergent situation. "This was a successful operation – we learned important information about smuggling and trafficking activity," said Commodore Winstanley. "We can now focus on other areas to better understand the local and regional issues." Operations in the 5th Fleet area of operations are focused on reassuring regional partners of the Coalition's commitment to help set conditions for security and stability. Coalition forces maintain a naval and air presence in the region that deters destabilizing activities, while safeguarding the region's vital links to the global economy.

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