Three Operation Atalanta warships were operating in the Gulf of Aden recently when they took the opportunity to conduct Force Integration Training (FIT).
The FIT included a number of naval manoeuvres which served to confirm that the warships were ready in all respects for their counter-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia
At the start of the FIT, the Operation Atalanta flagship, German frigate FGS Bayern, rendezvoused with two other Atalanta warships, ESPS Tornado and ITS Euro for a Replenishment at Sea (RAS) with US Navy supply ship, USNS Joshua Humphreys.
Apart from refueling warships of the 5th US Fleet, USNS Joshua Humphreys will also, upon request, resupply EU Naval Force warships operating off the coast of Somalia.
In addition to refueling, the ships’ bridge and flight crews were tested on navigation procedures, stationing and helicopter operations. Radio communications between the ships were also tested to ensure that sailors from different nations could communicate effectively.
On completion of the FIT, the Operation Atalanta Force Commander, Rear Admiral Kaack, commented: “Although we usually operate in different sea areas, there can be situations in which we have to cooperate very closely and trust each other’s standard procedures, so this type of joint training is incredibly important.”