On Sunday 22 June, the newly-appointed Force Commander of the NATO counter-piracy Task Force, Commodore Aage Buur Jensen, paid an inaugural visit to the EU Force Commander, Rear Admiral Jürgen zur Mühlen. Both met at sea on board of EU Naval Force flagship FGS Brandenburg.
Both Force Commanders and their respective staffs used the opportunity to increase mutual understanding on the ongoing piracy threat and to discuss how to enhance further cooperation.
Speaking after the meeting, Rear Admiral Jürgen zur Mühlen stated “This was a very beneficial meeting that underlined the common trust and confidence in achieving our counter-piracy objectives.”
EU Naval Force protects vessels of the World Food Programme delivering aid to displaced persons in Somalia and the protection of African Union Mission on Somalia shipping. Additionally, they deter, prevent and repress acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast.
NATO warships and helicopters have been patrolling the waters off the Horn of Africa as part of the Operation Ocean Shield since 2009. Their mission is to contribute to international efforts to counter maritime piracy while participating in capacity building efforts with regional governments.
Press Release, June 25, 2014; Image: EU NAVFOR