On the morning of 22 July destroyer Andrea Doria departed Stazione Navale Mar Grande, Taranto to participate in Operation Atalanta in the Indian Ocean.
The unit is due to moor at Gibuti port next August 6, where the German Rear Admiral Jὓrgen ZUR Mȕhlen will pass on the torch of the operation to ITN Rear Admiral Guido Rando.
For the third time Italy assumes command since December 2008, when operation Atalanta was launched by the European Council to fight the increasing phenomenon of piracy.
“At that time the situation on the Indian Ocean was critical. Today, thanks to EU and coalition Navies, the NATO, a new awareness on the part of cargo vessels, and the use of protection teams, the situation is under control and yet, it is still necessary not to let our guard down: the pirates threat cannot be underrated.”
Thus spoke Admiral Rando before unmooring.
In his capacity as Commanding Officer of Task Force 465, comprising four frigates, (one Dutch, one German and two Spanish), as well as a German tanker, he is in charge of an international staff of officers and noncommissioned officers from 12 different nations: Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, The Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Serbia and Spain.
ITS Andrea Doria under the command of Captain Gianfranco Annunziata, is manned by a complement comprising 208 men and women, including special forces from San Marco Brigade, the Operational Divers Group, and an EH 101 helicopter.