Sailors and ships deployed to EUNAVFOR’s counter piracy operation off the Horn of Africa have bid farewell to the Dutch frigate and operation Atalanta flagship, HNLMS Tromp, as she concluded her deployment and headed for the Dutch port of Den Helder.
The De Zeven Provinciën-class frigate started her journey on December 6 after spending four months deployed and sailing over 25,000 nautical miles.
The Royal Netherlands Navy air defense frigate spent the majority of their time at sea in the Gulf of Aden and off the East coast of Somalia, conducting counter-piracy patrols to ensure that attacks by Somali pirates, that were common place just a few years ago, remain suppressed.
On HNLMS Tromp’s final day with EU NAVFOR, operation Atalanta’s deputy commander, Rear Admiral Cristóbal González-Aller Lacalle, visited the flagship alongside in Djibouti.
“Operation Atalanta’s recent mandate extension is testament to the EU’s commitment to Somalia and the wider region. But the extension also highlights that more work needs to be done to ensure that piracy is not allowed to return to the waters off the coast of Somalia. Your efforts to assist staff from EU sister mission, EUCAP Nestor, to help strengthen maritime security and develop alternative livelihoods is to be applauded. With our ships and maritime aircraft patrolling the High Risk Area 24/7 the pirates and their investors are on the back foot – and we need to keep it that way,” González-Aller Lacalle said.
HNLMS Tromp is expected to arrive back home in mid December.