Outboard motors for Somali port police and a new addition to the EUNavFor fleet

The EU Naval Force flagship, HNLMS Johan de Witt, this month delivered four board motors to the Bosasso port police.

The delivery was conducted in co-operation with EICAP Nestor and is part of a co-ordinated programme to train and equip local maritime police and coastguards in Somalia. The programme aims to develop and enhance maritime capabilities with a view to ultimately achieving self-sustainability in terms of maritime security.

Basic motor maintenance and handling of equipment, as well as navigation skills are integral parts of the EUCAP Nestor capacity building programme and the outboard motors will be used to support on-going training activities.

Following a request from EUCAP Nestor for logistical assistance, and in accordance with Operation Atalanta’s mandate, the four outboard motors were loaded on to HNLMS Johan de Witt in Djibouti and transferred by sea, before being handed over to the port police.

At the same time as its flagship was assisting Somali port police, EUNavFor, welcomed the Spanish warship, ESPS Infanta Cristina to the multi-national fleet tasked with counter-piracy operations off the Somali coast.

ESPS Infanta Cristina departed her home port of Cartagena in Spain on February 18.

Commanded by Lieutenant Commander David Duran Mayoral, the ship and her crew conducted operational sea training in preparation for joining the EU Naval Force and she is now fully ready to take part in counter-piracy patrols and escort vulnerable shipping in the area of operations.

ESPS Infanta Cristina was originally a Descubierta class corvette, but was later converted to a patrol craft. With a length of 89 metres, a displacement of 1,495 tonnes and a crew of 106, her specifications make her well-suited for missions such as Operation Atalanta.

The ship will be deployed to the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden until mid-July.

EU Naval Force Somalia – Operation Atalanta’s main tasks are to escort and protect vulnerable vessels and deter and disrupt piracy in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. EU Naval Force warships also monitor fishing activity off the coast of Somalia and can provide assistance to EU missions and other organisations working to strengthen maritime security in the region.