The flagship of the EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR), NRP Alvares Cabral has conducted a fast-rope insertion exercise on a World Food Programme (WFP) vessel, providing the opportunity for Portuguese sailors to meet their Finnish colleagues embarked on the WFP ship as an Autonomous Vessel Protection Detachment (AVPD).
Whilst patrolling in the Gulf of Aden EUNAVFOR’s flagship, NRP Álvares Cabral, met with MV Caroline Scan, a WFP chartered vessel, whose security is provided by a Finnish Autonomous Vessel Protection Detachment (AVPD). The boarding team from the Portuguese warship took the opportunity to conduct a fast-rope insertion exercise, a demanding operation that requires a combination of courage and skill from both the marines and the helicopter´s crew.
“This exercise was very important to maintain our readiness standards and ensure we are ready to be employed in any circumstances. It also allowed us to talk with our Finnish colleagues about our common procedures”, said the team leader of the Portuguese boarding team.
“We had an excellent opportunity to test our skills and mental flexibility in fast-rope insertions; when fast and accurate positioning of the helicopter is required”, said Lieutenant Commander Marco Coimbra, Flight Commander of the Portuguese Super Lynx MK 95 helicopter embarked on NRP Álvares Cabral.
The EU NAVFOR Force Commander observed the exercise from on board the MV Caroline Scan, while visiting the Finnish AVPD.
Talking about the exercise he said: “I had a very rewarding experience on board MV Caroline Scan. I noticed a really welcoming environment amongst the crew and the AVPD. With the proficient and very well-equipped Finnish AVPD, I am confident that WFP shipments on MV Caroline Scan remain well protected.”
Naval Today Staff, May 1, 2013; Image: EU NAVFOR