OFF SOMALIA --
EU NAVFOR champions the cooperation and
coordination of efforts with civilian and military partners to
combat piracy; events such as the recent Counter-Piracy Exercise
with the Multi-National Combined Maritime Forces (CMF)
EU NAVFOR ships and aircraft from
Italy, Spain and Germany operated alongside US, Korean and
Japanese warships of CMF from 6th to 8th June.
They worked towards developing common techniques and
coordinated responses for dealing with piracy related events,
and practiced how to execute counter-piracy operations and other
maritime security related incidences.
Assets from CMF along with EU NAVFOR’s flagship ITS
Margottini, ESPS Meteoro and the Spanish and German P-3 Orion
Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft (MPRA) tested
satellite and radio communications on the first day to ensure
fast and efficient flow of information.
Information sharing and using multiple messaging systems are
key to planning and conducting a rapid and effective coordinated
response against pirate attacks.
Various simulated pirate attacks and response serials were
conducted throughout the exercise to ensure that if a real
attack occurs, the combined response of all available forces in
the area can come together and protect maritime trade and other
vulnerable shipping transiting the Western Indian Ocean, Gulf of
Aden and Southern Red Sea.
If suspected pirates are detained, they could face 30 years
in jail if convicted. Hence, practicing boarding operations,
looking for criminal activity and recording the crime scene to
collect evidence to support cases against suspected piracy
events becomes fundamental to any counter-piracy operation.
Exercises such as these are important in helping EU NAVFOR,
CMF and Independent Deployers to understand the different
approaches used by individual nations and organisations when
responding to piracy-related events.
Since 2009, Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 has been conducting
CMF’s counter-piracy operation patrolling the waters throughout
CTF151 exercises with EU NAVFOR and regional partners that
can keep on "doing more together" in the fight against piracy
around the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Aden.