On Saturday 18 October sailors from EU Naval Force Spanish frigate, ESPS Navarra, embarked on the Danish frigate HDMS Esbern Snare.
The Danish frigate is part of NATO’s counter-piracy operation, Ocean Shield.
After closing each other’s sea position, the Commanding Officer of ESPS Navarra flew across to the Danish frigate in ESPS Navarra’s AB212 helicopter to meet his Danish counterpart. Exchange visits such as this help to strengthen cooperation and coordination in the fight against piracy.
Crew members from ESPS Navarra and HDMS Esbern Snare, together with the Liaison Officer from EUCAP Nestor, were invited to attend the meeting between the two commanding officers. EUCAP Nestor is a civilian led mission, mandated to assist states within the Horn of Africa to enhance their capacities and capabilities in order to strengthen maritime security in the region.
Following the visit, ESPS Navarra continued her counter-piracy patrols off the Somali coast. Shortly afterwards, her Bridge team received a may-day call from a dhow. The master of the dhow stated that he feared a possible threat from pirates. The EU Naval Force frigate immediately altered course to the position of the dhow. Thankfully, the Spanish Navy crew was able to confirm that there was no immediate piracy threat. The commanding officer of ESPS Navarra then took the opportunity to send a small team across to the dhow to meet the master and his crew and to gather information about the local sea area.
Meetings such as this help to increase mutual understanding between the EU Naval Force and local seafarers. They are also very useful in analyzing and understanding regional maritime activities and in identifying the local ‘pattern of life.
Press release, Image: EUNAVFOR