On Saturday 15 November the EU Force Commander, Rear Admiral Guido Rando, visited the Serbian maritime protection team that is currently embarked in a World Food Programme (WFP) vessel.
The protection team, known as an Autonomous Vessel Protection Detachment, or AVPD, is tasked, as part of the EU Naval Force, to protect WFP vessels from pirate attack as they transit along the Somali coastline.
Rear Admiral Guido Rando was accompanied by two of his staff officers, Lieutenant Commander Luis Curt Garcia and Lieutenant Senji Dejan.
The Force Commander was welcomed on board by the commanding officer of the AVPD, Captain Goran Stevancevic and briefed about their important protection role and activites during their first two months with Operation Atalanta.
After the meeting, the Force Commander invited Captain Stevancevic and some of his team to join him on board the EU Naval Force flagship, ITS Andrea DORIA. On arrival they were greeted by the ship’s commanding officer, Captain Angelo Virdis and the Force Chief of Staff, Commander Wilhelm Tobias Abry. After a working meeting, where Captain Stevancevic submitted his deployment report, the Serbian team was given the opportunity to meet members of the ship’s company, the Italian San Marco Marines and the operational divers/ordnance experts who are also embarked.
Prior to their return to the WFP vessel, the Force Commander expressed his personal gratitude for the work that the Serbian AVPD has carried out during their time with Operation Atalanta to ensure the safety of WFP vessels at sea.
Press release, Image: EUNAVFOR