On 13h of October the EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia Operation Atalanta Liaison Officer (LNO) for Seychelles and Mauritius, Lieutenant Commander Billy Adams Royal Navy, boarded NATO’s Danish counter piracy maritime patrol aircraft for a reconnaissance mission off the coast of Somalia.
In the spirit of maritime cooperation, the Danish Commanding Officer, Major Michael Munkner, extended the invitation to the EU Naval Force LNO to witness the crew undertaking a mission and the evidence gathering process.
The Danish Detachment has operated from the Seychelles Airport for a number of years and carried out an abundance of sorties, providing vital intelligence to the joint maritime forces in their fight against piracy.
Speaking after the flight, Lieutenant Commander Adams stated “I would like to thank Major Munkner and his crew, both in the air and on the ground, for the opportunity to join them on a NATO mission. This was a fantastic experience, which gave me a better appreciation of how such vital evidence is gathered, processed and then disseminated to our allied forces. There is no doubt that the intelligence provided by the maritime reconnaissance assets is essential to both the success of EU Naval Force and Ocean Shield missions. Overflying the sunken MV Albedo and the beached FV Naham 3 emphasised the cost of piracy, both in term of financial loss and human loss.”
During the mission the aircraft also overflew the Royal Navy’s HMS Westminster, which was patrolling the East Coast of Somalia as part of the Combined Maritime Forces task force (CTF151), another counter piracy force in the region.
Press Release, November 06, 2013; Image: US Navy