Operation Atalanta’s German Maritime Air Detachment Fly Home Having Helped to Keep Seas Safe from Pirate AttackJune 15, 2016 - 10:47
Operation Atalanta’s current German Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft (MPRA) detachment has been deployed in Djibouti for the past three months. With the pilots, engineering and support crews reaching the end of their deployment, they will return home to their air base in Germany.
During their deployment, the German MPRA has provided the Force Commander, Rear Admiral Kaack, who is currently embarked in the Operation Atalanta flagship, FGS Bayern, with ‘eyes in the skies’ imagery of sea areas which have previously been plagued by pirates.
The MPRA is an extremely flexible asset. It can be tasked at short notice to provide imagery of a particular area of interest to enable the Force Commander to react to events and keep the waters of the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean safe for all maritime users.
The Gulf of Aden is an immensely important sea area for maritime trade. With over 90% of the world’s merchant shipping transiting by sea every year, much of this through the Gulf of Aden, it is crucial that the area remains safe from pirate attacks.
Germany has supported Operation Atalanta with warships and MPRAs for several years. The MPRAs have flown over 5,000 hours to support the maritime units in deterring and disrupting piracy off the Somali coast.
Operation Atalanta retains an MPRA capability with the Spanish P-3 Maritime Patrol Aircraft which is also based in Djibouti.
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