New Dutch Commander NATO – Operation Ocean Shield Welcomed on Board EUNAVFOR Flag shipJune 21, 2012 - 08:36
On June 16, EUNAVFOR Force Commander French Rear Admiral Dupuis received on board FS Marne the new commander of TF 508 (NATO – Operation Ocean Shield).
On 16 June on board EUNAVFOR French flag ship Marne, Force Commander Rear Admiral Dupuis and his staff hosted the new Dutch Commander of Task Force 508 (NATO – operation Ocean Shield), commodore Ben Bekkering. The flagships, FS Marne and HNLMS frigate Evertsen, had rendezvous north of the Horn of Africa, protected from the effects of the monsoon which currently prevails in the Somali Basin.
Transferred with part of his staff by a Lynx helicopter, Commodore Ben Bekkering had extensive discussions with Rear Admiral Dupuis. This type of encounters at sea is particularly important to ensure the smooth flow of information and coordination needed in the area of operation. In this case, mutual understanding is made even easier as the new CTF 508 has also been recently the commanding officer of a Dutch ship operating in EUNAVFOR. If both forces act under different commands, their mission remains the same and some nations like the Netherlands also operate within the two forces.
Besides tactical coordination, the main topic of conversation was the evolution of piracy and its significant decrease over the past months. The two forces were able to exchange views and reflect on how best to promote a sustainable improvement of the situation, with the common goal to fight against piracy and restore order off the coasts of Somalia.
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