USS GETTYSBURG, At Sea (NNS) -- The commander of Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 visited Singapore's RSS Persistence and Turkey's TCG Giresun May 19 to discuss counterpiracy operations.
Turkish Rear Adm. Caner Bener assumed command of the multinational coalition of naval forces operating in the Gulf of Aden earlier this month.
"It's very important for me as the commander and also for my staff to meet with the people we coordinate with on a daily basis," said Bener. "Being able to establish the personal connection and discuss issues face-to-face when possible is incredibly beneficial to our efforts in the fight against piracy."
Bener spent part of the day meeting with the commanding officer of Singapore's embarked task group and learning about the capabilities Persistence brings to counterpiracy operations.
Lt. Col. Richard Lim, Singapore's task group commander, understands the importance of protecting the world's sea lines of communication from piracy.
"The freedom of navigation is very important to maritime trade and to nations like Singapore," said Lim. "Protecting international waterways cannot be borne by any one nation, it needs the commitment and cooperation of the international community. Maritime security threats have no boundary and no one nation can deal with maritime security threats alone comprehensively."
Following the late morning visit to Persistence, Bener and his staff visited the Turkish frigate Giresun, whose crew has participated in CTF 151 since February.
"Being able to visit one of my country's ships while they're participating in such an important mission was certainly a pleasure," said Bener. "They've done an incredible job since joining CTF 151 and have contributed greatly to the success of counterpiracy operations in and around the Gulf of Aden."
Bener also noted that having Giresun, Persistence and the U.S. guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64) working side-by-side is an opportunity to share many experiences and ideas.
"Anytime you can bring professional navies together for a common mission, the chances for success multiply greatly," said Bener. "The navies operating within CTF 151 have a long history of keeping the waterways safe for the free flow of commerce. The experiences we've shared will help us get even tougher on those who disrupt global economy with their acts of piracy."
CTF 151 is a multinational task force established to conduct counterpiracy operations under a mission-based mandate throughout the Combined Maritime Forces' rea of responsibility to actively deter, disrupt and suppress piracy in order to protect global maritime security and secure freedom of navigation for the benefit of all nations.
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusnc/.