Earlier this week, USS Taylor, part of the NATO counter piracy mission Operation Ocean Shield escorted the World Food Programme (WFP) ship, MV Tupi Maiden. The WFP ship was making a westbound transit to Djibouti through the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) in the Gulf of Aden.
MV Tupi Maiden began her transit escorted by the French warship, FS Guepratte from the EU’s Operation Atalanta.
USS Taylor took over the escort from a pre-planned point in the IRTC and continued westward to Djibouti. During the transit, Taylor maintained a position close to the WFP vessel to deter piracy and respond rapidly if MV Tupi Maiden was attacked or if suspicious vessels were reported to be operating too close to the vessel.
“We (the crew) have been participating in counter-piracy operations since March, so the mission was not new for us. However, in this instance we knew that the escort was important as t he supplies on board were intended to support people who may eventually turn to piracy if supplies like these fail to reach them” said Ensign Caitlyn Levinson, Combat Information Center Officer.
After a successful 24 hour escort, Taylor relinquished escort duties for MV Tupi Maiden near Djiboutian territorial waters and returned to normal counter-piracy patrols CDR Dennis Volpe, Taylor’s Executive Officer, stated “The escort mission provided an excellent opportunity to exercise the coalition nature of the counter-piracy mission in the Horn of Africa region.”
Naval Today Staff , June 22, 2012