Netherlands Force Commander Back with Operation AtalantaAugust 6, 2016 - 14:36
On Saturday 6 August Rear Admiral Jan Kaack (German Navy) handed over Force Command of the EU’s counter-piracy Operation Atalanta to Commodore René Luyckx (Netherlands Navy).
The New FHQ staff – embarked in Netherlands Navy warship HNLMS Tromp, is made up from 10 European Union Member states, as well as personnel from the EU’s partner nation, Djibouti.
Commodore Luyckx will lead the EU Naval Force at sea for approximately four months. This is not his first deployment in the region. Commodore Luyckx participated in Atalanta in 2015 as the commanding officer of HNLMS Johan de Witt, which hosted Rear Admiral Jonas Haggren (Swedish Navy) and his staff of Atalanta’s 19th rotation.
During the handover ceremony Commodore Luyckx stated his intention to continue the good work that the previous FHQ had achieved on board the German Navy warship, FGS Bayern.
Speaking during the handover ceremony, Commodore Luyckx stated: “The EU Naval Force will continue to cooperate with the other counter-piracy task forces and independent deployers in order to contribute to maritime security in the waters around Somalia”.
Rear Admiral Kaack has been the EU Naval Force Commander on board FGS Bayern, since March 2016. At the ceremony he expressed his gratitude towards his FHQ staff and crew.
“The EU Naval Force, in co-operation with counter-piracy partners, has been highly effective in reducing pirate attacks. At the height of Somali piracy in January 2011, 736 hostages and 32 ships were being held by pirates. As of May 2015, no merchant vessels are being held in captivity.” added Commodore Luyckx.
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