German Maritime Patrol Aircraft arrives in area of operationsSeptember 26, 2011 - 16:36
Djibouti – On 25 September, EU NAVFOR welcomed a German Maritime Patrol Reconnaissance Aircraft (MPRA) which will operate off the Horn of Africa. Based in Djibouti, the Lockheed Martin P-3C ‘ORION’, will add to the mission’s capabilities until December.
In a letter to the detachment, the Force Commander, Rear Admiral Thomas Jugel, welcomed the soldiers: “Let me heartily welcome the German P-3C ORION Detachment and all its men and women in Operation ATALANTA. Let’s work together!”
The operational area off the Horn of Africa is as large as Europe. The ‘ORION’, as a “flying eye”, is fitted with modern sensor technology. With its radar the MPRA is able to give the warships a current picture of surface contacts in the area of operation and it is a significant contribution to fighting piracy and securing the shipping lanes off the Horn of Africa.
“As we all know, Maritime Patrol Reconnaissance Aircraft provide an indispensable supplement to our intelligence and reconnaissance capability. And reliable intelligence is prerequisite for successful counter piracy operations. Keeping this in mind, the German aircraft joins exactly at the right time. This reinforcement is urgently needed because we will see a strong pirate surge during the upcoming inter monsoon phase”, said Rear Admiral Thomas Jugel.
EU NAVFOR Somalia is a counter-piracy taskforce operating in the area of the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean responsible for deterring, preventing and repressing acts of piracy, for the safe escort of ships carrying humanitarian aid of the World Food Program and vessels of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and to protect other vulnerable vessels. Additionally, EU NAVFOR also monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.
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