ESPS Tornado Reaches Halfway In Deployment With Operation AtalantaFebruary 7, 2014 - 10:34
Since ESPS Tornado joined the European Union’s Operation Atalanta on 29 November 2013, the Spanish Off-Shore Patrol Vessel has certainly been very busy. The warship has sailed over 16,000 nautical miles and the crew has carried out a wide range of activities off the Somali Coast.
ESPS Tornado commenced her counter-piracy patrols off the north and east coasts of Somalia on her way to Mombasa to take over the safe escort of World Food Programme aid ship, MV Liberty World, which was carrying much-needed food to the Somali town of Kismayo.
After finishing the escort, ESPS Tornado re-commenced her surveillance of the Somali coast and counter piracy patrols in the International Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) in the Gulf of Aden, which sees appx. 5000 transiting ships every month.
In order to gain a better understanding of local seafarers’ concerns and to highlight to them the potential risks from pirates off the Somali coast, the ship’s boarding team has carried out over eleven ‘Friendly Approaches’.
To enable ESPS Tornado to remain at sea on patrol, the ship has also carried out a number of replenishments at sea (RAS) with supply ships, to restock the ship with fuel.
As part of EU Naval Force engagement with regional states, the ship has made port visits to Djibouti, Dar es Salaam and Salalah.
Speaking about his warship’s first two months with the EU Naval Force, the Commanding Officer of ESPS Tornado, Lieutenant Commander Juan J. Belizón Izquierdo, said “I am very proud of my crew and the job they are doing. We are working hard to make the seas safer for seafarers who carry aid in to Somalia and trade in to Europe and beyond. We are determined in the fight against piracy and making Somalia a more stable nation – to do so benefits us all.”
ESPS Tornado will remain as part of European Union Naval Force until mid March.
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