Ships from the navies of Japan and Italy sailed together and conducted combined training in the Gulf of Aden while operating under two multinational maritime partnerships, Combined Maritime Forces and European Union Naval Forces.

Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer JS Makinami (DD 112) and Italian Navy frigate ITS Carlo Bergamini (F 590) transferred personnel and conducted professional exchanges on topics related to vessel boardings and maritime security.

“The combined training instilled a firm belief that our ships performing maritime operations can work together anytime and anywhere,” said Capt. Kenichi Fujii, commander of Japan’s 7th Escort Division that is in charge of Makinami.

During the training, Makinami operated in support of Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, one of four operational task forces under Combined Maritime Forces, which includes 38 member-nations and partners. CTF 151 conducts counter-piracy missions led by Republic of Korea Navy Rear Adm. Ko Seung-bum.

“Training opportunities that enable multinational naval forces to work together more closely enhances maritime security and stability in the Middle East. That’s why we are here,” said Ko.

Bergamini participated while operating under Task Force (TF) 465, a multinational naval unit from European Union Naval Forces that also focuses on countering piracy in the Middle East. Task forces from Combined Maritime Forces and European Union Naval Forces regularly collaborate to enhance interoperability through combined patrols and joint training.

Established in 2009, CTF 151 conducts maritime security operations to deter, disrupt and suppress piracy and armed robbery at sea, outside the Horn of Africa. The task force is headquartered in Bahrain with U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. Fifth Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces.