On Tuesday 18 March, three EU Naval Force warships, FS Siroco, FGS Hessen and ESPS Relampago gathered in the Gulf of Aden for a joint replenishment at sea (RAS) with the American logistics ship, USNS Pecos from Task Force 53. Ships from Task Force 53 provide regular replenishment support to the European Union’s counter-piracy warships and others international forces in the area of operations.
This impressive operation followed a similar event in January, when more than half of the men and women serving with the EU Naval Force were co-located at sea, close to the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor in the Gulf of Aden.
Good coordination between the ships and their crews ensured that the replenishments were conducted in an efficient manner in less than 4 hours. On completion of the logistic transfers, the EU Naval Force warships saluted USNS Pecos and each other, before heading back to their respective areas to continue with their counter piracy patrols.
Speaking about the successful replenishments, the EU Force Commander, Rear Admiral Hervé Bléjean, expressed his deep satisfaction: “I am once again very impressed with the coming together today of EU Naval Force warships with a Task Force 53 ship, USNS Pecos. I want to praise the crucial support that assets such as Task Force 53 provide, enabling counter-piracy warships to maintain a constant presence at sea in the piracy high risk area. These patrols help to ensure a safe and secure maritime environment and protect the economic interests of European Union countries in the region.”
The EU Naval Force deters, prevents and represses acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia. EU Naval Force ships protect World Food Programme vessels delivering aid to Somalia and AMISOM shipping. EU Naval Force ships also contribute to the monitoring of fishing activity off the Somali Coast.
Press Release, March 25, 2014, Image: EUNAVFOR