The guided-missile destroyer USS Mason, front, is underway alongside the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Murasame-class destroyer JS Akebono in the Gulf of Aden, Nov. 25, 2023. U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Samantha Alaman

US Navy destroyer USS Mason (above, nearest) & Japanese destroyer JS Akebono, training in the Gulf of Aden recently. Japan takes part in maritime security patrols in the GoA, but is not involved in the new Operation Prosperity Guardian, which aims to protect merchant ships in the Red Sea from attack by missiles and drones launched by Yemen-based Houthis.

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USS Mason has already this autumn been goalkeeping attacks by Houthi drones and missiles against shipping. The 22-year-old warship was in 2017 subjected to a missile attack by the Houthis, intercepting and destroying the incoming weapon.

The nations currently committing resources to Prosperity Guardian are: the USA, United Kingdom, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles and Spain.


The operation is being run under the aegis of the long-established Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) based in Bahrain. It will be led by Combined Task Force 153 (CTF 153) which has for some years focussed on maritime security in the Red Sea (until now mainly due to the on-going piracy threat emanating primarily from the Horn of Africa).

  • For reports on the Red Sea situation, see the new (January 2024) edition, which is out now.
  • More to come on all this in the February 2024 edition of Warships IFR, which will be published on 19.1.2024.


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