Successful Combined Counter-Piracy Operations off the Coast of Somalia


Somalilandsun- During the period 29 Jan – 02 Feb EU NAVFOR and Combined Task Force-151 (CTF-151) brought their warships, helicopters, aircraft and military personnel together to conducted focused counter-piracy operations around the Somali Coast, in the Socotra Gap and across the Gulf of Aden.

The operation made use of combined resources from both maritime counter-piracy missions as they monitored merchant shipping’s adherence to Best Management Practices (BMP4), skiff movements in the area of interest and to identify patterns of life in this vast yet vital part of the world. The current piracy level remains low during the monsoon period but the threat still exists and focused military operations to deter pirates in key sea going areas remains a priority.

EU NAVFOR’s Spanish warship ESPS Patiño was able to demonstrate her counter-piracy capabilities during this period with additional weapon training, combined helicopter and boat operations and intelligence sharing. Merchant Vessels were urged to adhere to best counter-piracy practices and maintain their own high security readiness and to report anything suspicious.

EU NAVFOR and CMF frequently work together strengthening personal and professional relationships in addition to their cooperation and coordination in the region to protect vulnerable shipping and deter piracy. This work has been ongoing since 2008 and is described as “a marathon and not a sprint” and hence needs ongoing efforts to deter, prevent and repress the threat of piracy and armed robbery at sea.

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