Japanese, Spanish vessels engage in PASSEX

On August 29, 2018, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF)’s JS Akebono and the Spanish Navy’s ESPS Castilla conducted a passage exercise (PASSEX) in the Gulf of Aden.

JS Akebono (DD-108) and ESPS Castilla (L52) are flagships under the command of Combined Task Force (CTF151) and the European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) CTF465, respectively.

The PASSEX included a series of communications and maneuvering exercises, as well as helicopter training. These provided the participating warships the opportunity to exercise their communication and coordination linkages.

In addition, the exercises strengthened the mutual understanding of the ships’ capabilities, practices, and procedures, and significantly enhanced the interoperability of JS Akebono and ESPS Castilla in counter-piracy operations in the region.

Following the completion of the PASSEX, Commander CTF 151, Rear-Admiral (RADM) Saw Shi Tat, and Commander CTF465, RADM Alfonso Pérez de Nanclares, reaffirmed the positive relationship between the two Task Forces’ Headquarters and the commitment to strengthen collaboration in counter-piracy operations.

RADM Alfonso Pérez highlighted the significance of the PASSEX, saying: “Our relationship is stronger than ever and we will do our best to keep enhancing cooperation and coordination with CMF in order to provide a safe maritime environment in the region.”

Commander CTF151 RADM Saw added: “The relations between CTF151 and CTF465 have grown from strength-to-strength. The PASSEX displays our high level of mutual understanding and interoperability, and puts us in a favourable position in the event where we need to respond to maritime incidents at sea.”