Media Day: “Now we have an understanding of how EU NAVFOR works”July 30, 2009 - 14:51
On 24 July, journalist were invited to a Media day in Djibouti to witness the excellent work of over 1200 sailors and soldiers in the European Naval Force Operation Atalanta. The Italian EU NAVFOR ship Commandante BORSINI hosted the days event by taking the journalists to sea and conducting operations, and were proud to offer their ship as the platform for this media event.
The journalists hailed from Spain and Germany, with officials from Djibouti, were able to be part of the a demonstration of counter piracy tactics and how the EU NAVFOR units defend against attacks. Briefings commenced on board Commandante BORSINI with the daily weather report which gave an indication of the crew’s daily working conditions in 42 degrees Celsius and high humidity.
In the Command and Information Centre (CIC), the Operations Officers explained the cooperation, not only between the units of EU NAVFOR, but also the unprecedented Coordination against piracy at sea between multinational Units present in the Gulf of Aden.
As a fictional distress call of a merchant ship comes in, the journalists were impressed by the fast action taking place on board BORSINI. The helicopter was alerted, and a ships fast patrol boat was prepared to pursue suspected pirates.
Moving to the bridge, the guests saw the suspected pirates attempting to scape. The pirates refused to stop and warning shots were fired to stop their skiff. When they did not react, Borsini Helicopter was tasked to take more aggressive action to catch them.
The helicopter zeroed in on the small pirate skiff and the boat from BORSINI then arrested the pirates.
The next demonstration involved the BORSINI being used as a fictional ship to be boarded, and to show the capacity of the boarding team. Eight marines demonstrated fast roping action onto the flight deck of BORSINI. The fast roping was conducted from a height of over 10metres down to the deck of the ship as the team secured themselves in order to investigate the ship.
The journalists were then given the opportunity to fly in the helicopter to get an impression of the weather and visibility conditions in the Bab el Mandeb and Gulf of Aden areas.
After lunch in the officers mess, journalists interviewed the Commanding Officer and had the chance to talk to several crew members. On the way back to Djibouti port they were given a tour of the ship.Journalists and officials were pleased to get the chance to join EU NAVFOR and stated: “Now we have a much better understanding of how EU NAVFOR works and also the challenging task of protecting world shipping in these dangerous waters.”
The Media day showed not only the unprecedented coordination at sea, it was also an example of the cooperation of European member states. On the Italian ship, public affairs officers hailing from Finland, Germany, United Kingdom and Sweden, support the media. The Force Headquarters Support element in Djibouti hailing from Spain and Greece worked closely with the Djibouti authorities to enable the Media day.
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