Recently, whilst conducting counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden in an area with a large number of fishing vessels, EU Naval Force Warship ESPS Navarra conducted a friendly approach on a dhow.
To help strengthen mutual understanding and trust between the EU Naval Force and local seafarers, as well as obtain first hand information about possible piracy incidents in the area, EU Naval Force ships will sometimes make ‘Friendly Approaches’ to local vessels and speak to the masters and crew.
The ship contacted the dhow by radio and asked if the ship could conduct a friendly approach to which the dhow’s master agreed. The boarding team from the Spanish Santa-Maria Class Frigate then conducted a Friendly Approach on the Indian dhow which was carrying cargo and cattle.
Whilst in the vicinity of Djibouti, Navarra also took the opportunity to service its AB212 helicopter in the French Forces Djibouti (FFDJ) airbase.
The AB 212 helicopter embarked in the Spanish frigate is vital to the conduct of Counter-Piracy operations and is now the main type employed by the Spanish in their units deployed as part of EU Naval Force. The aircraft conducted a short maintenance period ashore in the French airbase before returning to the ship.
Press Release, October 02, 2014; Image: EU NAVFOR