British,Kenyan Warships Tackle Safety at Sea in Indian Ocean
Fresh from a recent exercise between British and Kenyan warships, one of the Navy’s most senior officers east of Suez headed to Nairobi to discuss tackling crime in the troubled waters of the Indian Ocean.
Cdre John Clink, who has recently taken over command of the international Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150), visited Kenya and Tanzania to discuss co-operating with the two nations’ armed forces in the concerted effort to deal with criminal activity at sea.
Talks with Kenya were helped by the fact the head of the country’s navy, Maj Gen Ngewa Mukala, is a classmate of the British commander; the two trained at Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, the spiritual home of the RN ’s Officer Corps, back in 1984.
During a productive meeting, the two old friends discussed the success of a recent exercise involving HMS Monmouth and Kenyan patrol boats KNS Nyayo and Umoja.
The trio in the Indian Ocean met only last month for some rare joint manoeuvres. The Kenyan sisters were returning home to Mombasa after a two-year refit in Italy and demonstrated their speed and agility, keepingMonmouth’s bridge team on their toes.
The few hours together allowed the ships to share their experiences of maritime security operations; the Kenyans will be supporting the international naval security mission in the Indian Ocean.
Cdre Clink and Maj Gen Mukala also explored the possibility of further interaction between the Kenyan Navy and Combined Maritime Forces, which controls three different naval task forces in the region, dealing with counter terrorism, counter piracy and maritime security operations.
While in Nairobi, Cdre Clink also met Kenya’s senior intelligence officer, Director of Military Intelligence, Major General Philip Kameru, to discuss similar themes.
“This was my first visit to Kenya, and I was struck by the professionalism and dedication of their senior officers, as well as their commitment to safeguarding the seas around Kenya,” said Cdre Clink.”
“I was thrilled to see my old classmate, Major General Mukala. We shared some stories about what we have both been up to in the 27 years since we last saw one another, and he took great pleasure in showing me how well trained and capable the Kenyan Navy is and how successful it has been in protecting Kenya’s maritime borders.”
The senior Royal Navy officer, who has commanded HMS Kent and Ark Royal, is responsible, with his staff based in Bahrain, for the safe passage of shipping across two million square miles of ocean (that’s roughly seven times the size of the North Sea) covering the Gulfs of Aden and Oman, Red and Arabian Seas and large swathes of the Indian Ocean.
The task force comprises warships from across the globe – as well as the UK and USA, Germany, France, Denmark, Australia, Singapore, South Korea among others have committed vessels to CTF 150 – with the aim of strangling terrorism, smuggling and other illegal activities in these waters.
Source: royalnavy, September 5, 2011;