When Rear Admiral Hervé Bléjéan took over the Force Headquarters of the EU Operation Atalanta on Friday 6 December, one of his first actions was to meet with the Force Commanders of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), Commodore Aage Buur Jensen, and NATO’s Operation Ocean Shield, Rear Admiral Eugenio Diaz del Rio.
During their meeting the Force Commanders reiterated the importance of working together to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia.
The sea areas where pirates have attacked ships is about the size of Western Europe so coordination of patrols is crucial. Over the past five years EU, CMF and NATO warships have worked together to locate and apprehend pirate action groups and shared information on suspicious activities at sea.
Speaking about the close cooperation between the 3 task forces, Rear Admiral Bléjéan said:
“I was delighted to meet my CMF and NATO counterparts so soon after taking Force Command of the EU Naval Force. I have no doubt in my mind that together we are stronger. My staff and I will continue to have regular liaison with both CMF and NATO to ensure that there is no hiding place at sea for Somali pirates.”
Press Release, December 18, 2013; Image: EU Navfor