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By By U.S. Naval Forces Central Command / U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs
| August 02, 2023
ROTA, Spain (July 26, 2023) Spanish Navy Vice Adm. José M. Núñez Torrente, operational commander for Operation Atalanta, and Republic of Korea Navy Rear Adm. Ko Seung-bum, commander of Combined Task Force 151, enter the headquarters for the European Union Naval Force in Rota, Spain, July 26, 2023. (Photo by courtesy photo)
ROTA, Spain (July 26, 2023) Naval leaders from Operation Atalanta and Combined Task Force 151 attend a meeting at the headquarters for the European Union Naval Force in Rota, Spain, July 26, 2023. (Photo by courtesy photo)
ROTA, Spain – The commander of the counter-piracy task force for Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) visited European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) headquarters July 26 in Rota, Spain.
Republic of Korea Navy Rear Adm. Ko Seung-bum, commander of CMF’s Combined Task Force 151, met with Spanish Navy Vice Adm. José M. Núñez Torrente, operational commander for EUNAVFOR’s Operation Atalanta. In May, ships from Combined Task Force 151 and Task Force 465 from Operation Atalanta conducted combined training in the Gulf of Aden.
“The situation in the Middle East region is constantly changing, but our role in ensuring the safety of merchant vessels remains unchanged,” said Ko. “We must continue to work together to strengthen our ties for maritime security.”
During the visit, Ko emphasized the importance of continuous maritime cooperation between the two task forces, which both focus on countering piracy in the Middle East.
“I have deep admiration for the passion and insight demonstrated by Rear Adm. Ko and his team,” said Torrente. “Expanding the relationship between our two multinational organizations will undoubtedly make the free flow of trade through our area of operations much safer for all.”
Task forces from CMF and EUNAVFOR regularly collaborate to enhance interoperability through combined patrols and joint training. In April, Japanese and Italian navy warships conducted combined training in the Gulf of Aden while supporting Combined Task Force 151 and Task Force 465 respectively.
Established in 2009, Combined Task Force 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.