Gulf of Aden & Horn of Africa: CTF 151 Report on Noonsite Community Survey Results

Earlier in 2018, Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, the multinational coalition responsible for counter-piracy operations around the Horn of Africa, conducted a survey with The aim of this survey was to understand yacht skippers’ perceptions of risk when transiting through the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. A wide range of responses was received and then analyzed by CTF151.

Published 6 years ago, updated 5 years ago

Survey respondents said there were many sources of advice and requested that it would be better if there was a single organization to coordinate this. The main point of contact for all leisure craft considering transiting the High-Risk Area (HRA) around the Gulf of Aden is the Maritime Security Centre for the Horn of Africa (MSCHOA) website at This website contains a yachting bulletin that Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) would encourage all yacht skippers to read before making their passage.

Survey respondents also suggested having their own Navy escorts through the HRA.  The focus of counter-piracy operations in the region is on commercial shipping. Although piracy has largely been suppressed, a real threat to vulnerable vessels remains. Leisure craft skippers are encouraged to register their vessel with MSCHOA through the center’s website. This will allow the craft’s progress can be tracked.

Another common theme was a request for safe navigation advice. A Maritime Security Transit Corridor (MSTC) has been established through the High-Risk Area. While this is designed primarily for commercial shipping, yachts and leisure craft are encouraged to use this to navigate. Details and coordinates of the MSTC can be found on the MSCHOA website. Navigation through the Socotra Gap is not considered safe.

Survey respondents also requested Maritime Awareness Calls from passing Navy warships. Yachts and leisure craft are encouraged to monitor Channel 16 throughout their passage and use this to report any suspicious activity to coalition warships. The MSCHOA yachting bulletin contains more specific advice.

CTF151 has an enduring presence in the area, along with other military partners such as EU NAVFOR and warships from other nations. However, these maritime security operations cannot guarantee freedom from attack by pirates when using the MSTC. All leisure craft are encouraged to maintain regular contact with the UK Maritime Trade Organization (UKMTO) on +971 5055 23215 or +442392222060 in order to receive the most up to date information about the threat in the area.

Editor’s Note:


The Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) is a multinational task force currently comprised of 33 nations: Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, the Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States and Yemen.

CMF is an enduring global maritime partnership of willing nations aligned in common purpose to conduct Maritime Security Operations in order to provide security and stability in the maritime environment. The continued success of CMF relies upon the willingness of Nations to contribute.

The nations in CMF work together to create a stabilizing effect throughout the region. The strength of CMF is its diversity, bringing varied expertise, assets, and experience to further improve maritime security in the region.

CMF operates three Combined Task Forces (CTFs) in order to conduct Maritime Security Operations:

•           CTF 150 – responsible for maritime security and counter-terrorism operations.

•           CTF 151 – responsible for counter-piracy operations.

•           CTF 152 – responsible for maritime security and counter-terrorism with the Arabian Gulf, as well as building cooperation between GCC nations and the wider CMF.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of or the World Cruising Club.

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