Ships from the Combined Maritime Force and EU NAVFOR staged a counter-piracy exercise in the Gulf of Aden early June, honing interoperability and coordination to combat piracy.
EU NAVFOR ships and aircraft from Italy, Spain and Germany operated alongside US, Korean and Japanese warships of CMF from June 6 to 8.
They worked towards developing common techniques and coordinated responses for dealing with piracy related events, and practiced how to execute counter-piracy operations and other maritime security related incidences.
Assets from CMF along with EU NAVFOR’s flagship ITS Margottini, ESPS Meteoro and the Spanish and German P-3 Orion maritime patrol and reconnaissance Aircraft (MPRA) tested satellite and radio communications on the first day to ensure fast and efficient flow of information.
Information sharing and using multiple messaging systems are key to planning and conducting a rapid and effective coordinated response against pirate attacks. Various simulated pirate attacks and response serials were conducted throughout the exercise to ensure that if a real attack occurs, the combined response of all available forces in the area can come together and protect maritime trade and other vulnerable shipping transiting the Western Indian Ocean, Gulf of Aden and Southern Red Sea.
If suspected pirates are detained, they could face 30 years in jail if convicted. Hence, practicing boarding operations, looking for criminal activity and recording the crime scene to collect evidence to support cases against suspected piracy events becomes fundamental to any counter-piracy operation.