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International Maritime Security Program Pays Off for Horn of Africa

October 28, 2018

For the last two months, EU NAVFOR's Italian warship Federico Martinengo hs been helping curtail piracy operations around the Horn of Africa, as part of a major cooperative counter-piracy venture which involved Somalia, the country of Djibouti and China.

The EU Martinengo surveillance ship celebrates 2 months of cooperative security operations off the Horn of Africa. Photo: European Union Naval Force ATALANTA (EU NAVFOR) Somalia

Since 11th August, significant acts of international cooperation have taken place, proving that EU assets in the area can make a substantial difference to the livelihoods and security of the countries around the Horn of Africa.

First, cooperation with Seychellois Military Forces occurred when ITS Martinengo conducted air operations and training with local agencies. This combined approach has proved beneficial to EU NAVFOR assets and the Seychellois military, which operate together in the high-risk areas of the Western Indian Ocean.

Next, ITS Martinengo’s crew had been the first to provide Local Maritime Capacity Building training  at the Regional Coordination Operating Centre in Mahè and then, on board two dhows alongside in Port Victoria. This has crossed another frontier of military cooperation, pushing further international dialogue and exchanges with a strategic regional partner in the Atalanta operational area.

More recently, EU NAVFOR conducted another world first when they conducted a medical exercise with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (Navy) at the Chinese Support Base in Djibouti. This high-level cooperation represents the first step for a partnership with a key global player with multiple assets and footholds in the region.

The presence, surveillance and contribution of ITS Martinengo to maritime security, has assisted with the rise of international cooperation to deter, prevent and suppress piracy throughout the region. With these milestones reached, the work will continue as the EU Naval Forces remain on station conducting its counter-piracy operation.