On 21 of January, the Force Commander of the EU Naval Force, Rear Admiral Guido Rando, hosted on board his flagship, ITS Andrea Doria, the Commander of the Combined Task Force 151 (CTF 151), Rear Admiral Wanich Pakorn.
Rear Admiral Pakorn was accompanied by his Public Affairs Officer, Commander Komol Kongboonrak, and the First Secretary of the Royal Thai Embassy in Muscat, Manasawee Tonyoopaiboon.
In conjunction with the EU Naval Force, NATO and independently deployed naval units, CTF 151 helps to patrol the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) in the Gulf Aden in order to disrupt piracy and armed robbery at sea. CTF 151 also engages with regional and other partners to build capacity in order to protect global maritime commerce and secure freedom of navigation.
The two delegations exchanged their views and discussed how to further improve cooperation and coordination in the counter-piracy effort. The Thai delegation was briefed by Captain Luca Ceccobelli, the Chief of Staff, regarding Operation Atalanta’s current and future plans; this focused on the World Food Program (WFP) and Local Maritime Capacity Building activity as part of the EU comprehensive approach to the Horn of Africa.
On behalf of CTF 151, Commander Kongboonrak illustrated both the lessons learned during CTF 151 activities and future challenges regarding support for capacity building with Somali authorities. At the end of the meeting, the Thai delegation had the opportunity to tour the ITS Andrea Doria, visiting its main weapons and engines systems.
Rear Admiral Rando and Rear Admiral Pakorn agreed that the sharing of both information and experience is paramount to effectively counter maritime piracy and to guarantee freedom of navigation.
Press release, Image: EUNAVFOR