Following recent attacks against merchant shipping in the Gulf of Aden and Bab Al Mandeb, which highlighted the risks associated with transiting these waters, relevant authorities decided to form the Maritime Security Transit Corridor (MSTC).
Multiple types of risks and the broad expanse of ocean on which these attacks can occur, including the Gulf of Aden, Bab Al Mandeb (BaM), Southern Red Sea, and associated waters, dictate that Naval Forces must be used in the most efficient manner possible.
The MSTC will consist of the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC), the BAM Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) and the TSS West of the Hanish Islands, and a two-way route directly connecting the IRTC and the BAM TSS, according to the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).
The purpose of this corridor is to provide a recommended merchant traffic route around which Naval Forces can focus their presence and surveillance efforts. It is recommended that all vessels use the MSTC to benefit from military presence and surveillance.
“The maritime threat environment is dynamic; the risks will not remain constant for subsequent visits. It is essential therefore, that Masters, Ship Security Officers and Company Security Officers carry out detailed Risk Assessments for each voyage to the region and for each activity within the region,” CMF said.
All vessels transiting the Gulf of Aden and Bab Al Mandeb have been advised to follow the guidance of BMP4 to the maximum extent possible and consider the use of embarked armed security.