On Tuesday 16 February, EU Naval Force Commander, Rear Admiral Jonas Haggren, hosted the Commander of the Chinese Escort Task Group 547, Rear Admiral Jiang Gouping, on board EU Naval Force Flagship, HNLMS Johan de Witt.
EU Naval Force and Chinese naval commanders have met several times previously and conducted joint exercises.
One of the secondary tasks of Operation Atalanta is to support other EU missions and international organisations working to strengthen maritime security and capacity in the region. As specially requested from a previous visit, Rear Admiral Gouping and the Chinese delegation were briefed by the Force Headquarters Chief of Staff, Italian Captain Luca Ceccobelli, on the Local Maritime Training efforts conducted by the EU Naval Force. This training is carried out in close cooperation with EUCAP Nestor, the European Union civilian mission which assists Somalia and other regional states to strengthen their own maritime security and capacities.
Rear Admiral Gouping emphasised his willingness to enhance cooperation and exchange information with EU Naval Force to further improve engagement in the Area of Operations. The Chinese delegation gave a presentation on Escort Task Group 547’s planned route, tasks and assets in the Horn of Africa.
Escort Task Group 547 left their home port of Qingdao at the beginning of December and is staying in the Horn of Africa region until mid-April.