On Tuesday 17 December 2013, Rear Admiral Hervé Bléjean, the Force Commander of the European Union’s counter piracy operation, Atalanta, visited the Ukrainian frigate Hetman Sagaidachny. The Ukrainian frigate is currently participating in NATO’s counter piracy operation, Ocean Shield.
The visit was an opportunity for Rear Admiral Bléjean to meet Commander of the Ukrainian Contingent, Rear Admiral Andrii Tarasov, the ship’s Commanding Officer, Commander Roman Piatnitskyi and his crew and to get an overview of the capabilities and operational processes of the Ukrainian warship. Hetman Sagaidachny is due to participate in the EU Naval Force Somalia, Operation Atalanta from 3 January 2014 for two months.
During the visit, the Commander of the Ukrainian Contingent, Rear Admiral Andrii Tarasov, took the opportunity to express his appreciation following the medical evacuation assistance provided by EU Naval Force warship, FGS Hessen on 14 December.
He also stated “The Ukrainian Navy is very much looking forward to joining the European Union Naval Force, which has made a significant contribution in the fight against piracy over the past five years.”
At the end of the visit, Rear Admiral Bléjean stressed the excellent impression that he had received during his time on board and highlighted Hetman Sagaidachny’s valuable contribution to counter piracy operations in the high risk area.
Rear Admiral Bléjean returned to his flagship on board Hetman Sagaidachny’s impressive Ka-27 Helix helicopter. It was the first time that FS Siroco has embarked this type of helicopter.
Press Release, December 18, 2013; Image: EU Navfor