EU Naval Force warship BNS Leopold I is now halfway through her deployment as part of EU Naval Force. Over the last two months, the warship has conducted counter-piracy operations across the Area of Operations. She has also conducted friendly approaches on more than 20 local dhows and skiffs.
Recently, BNS Leopold I’s boarding party visited two large cargo dhows and several small craft. The master of one of the dhows had a minor injury and was treated by the medical team from the Belgian Frigate. The masters and crews of the dhows each received small gifts from the Belgian Navy. Another dhow visited by the ship’s boarding team had severe propulsion problems and a team of technical personnel was embarked to try and help solve the problem. Unfortunately repairs could not be conducted, so the dhow had to be towed to port.
Friendly approaches like this increase mutual understanding between the EU Naval Forces and local seafarers. They are also very useful in analyzing and understanding regional maritime activities and in identifying the local ‘pattern of life’.
The Belgian frigate and her crew will eagerly continue their counter-piracy mission over the course of the next month, before setting course towards their homeport of Zeebrugge in December.
Press release, Image: EUNAVFOR