Gerry Northwood added: “Armed security teams on Japanese oil tankers will help improve the layered defence system which has already been adopted by many other flag state nations. It is a strong message being sent out to any Pirate Action Group that Japanese registered tankers are not a soft target and that they have acted accordingly to address the risk posed.”
Nick Davis, Chief Executive Officer of GoAGT, said: “The change in policy demonstrated by France highlights that the issue of piracy is maybe penetrating deeper with French concerns, extending to the security of its own energy supplies. Whilst many fear activity in the Gulf of Aden and IOR, there are wider regions that are becoming more fragile and susceptible to piracy such as the Gulf of Guinea, which must be recognised too as a growing hot bed of concern.”
He added: “The piracy threat is still present off Somalia and growing in other regions such as West Africa, and countries and individual shipping companies need to be on their guard. We also have to recognise that international terrorist groups could turn their attention to soft maritime targets at any time so any increase in protection is welcomed.”
GoAGT Ltd. (Gulf of Aden Group Transits Ltd.) has been in continuous operation since 2008 and has achieved an enviable 100% success rate on over 1600 Armed Security Transits throughout the Indian Ocean. Annually GoAGT provides over 50, 000 man days of protection at sea and since commencing operations we have protected in excess of 38, 000 seafarers.
GoAGT now employs over 300 personnel and at any one time between 160-180 security personnel are deployed. GoAGT recruits from the UK Royal Marines, Parachute and other Army regiments with front line experience, as well as the Irish Navy, Estonian Army and Filipino Marines.