New Force Headquarter (FHQ) Sails For Somalia Anti Piracy MissionMarch 14, 2010 - 15:24
At 11.00 on the 13 of March, the next Flagship of EU NAVFOR Somalia – Operation Atalanta, the Swedish Warship HMS CARLSKRONA, departed from Karlskrona in the south of Sweden.
It was a sunny morning with a blue sky but some ice remained on the water. Soon the conditions will be very different with temperatures around +30 degrees. On board CARLSKRONA the next Force Commander, Rear Admiral (Lower Half) Jan Törnqvist, will be embarked and take command of the FHQ EU NAVFOR on 14th April.
Before the ship sailed the OHQ representative, Deputy Commander Rear Admiral Bartolomé Bauza, took part in the traditional prayers in the Admiralty Church in Karlskrona for the ship’s crew. Thereafter, a short press conference was held on board the ship. Rear Admiral Bauza, in talking to the members of the press, expressed the gratitude of the European Union for Sweden’s contribution to EU NAVFOR operation Atalanta. He stated that “The Force Commander, the ship and its crewmembers are well prepared to fulfil their mission off the coast of Somalia.” Rear Admiral Bauza also said that EU NAVFOR is grateful for the Swedish Coastguard, the Maritime Patrol Aircraft, deployed since 8 March and already contributing greatly to the disruption of pirate attack groups.
On departure, HMS CARLSKRONA was escorted by the Corvette HMS STOCKHOLM that participated in Sweden’s previous contribution to EU NAVFOR last year.
HMS CARLSCRONA will proceed to the Gulf of Aden, where RAdm (LH) Thörnqvist is to relieve the present Force Commander Rear Admiral Giovanni Gumiero onboard the EU NAVFOR Italian warship ITS ETNA who has been controlling operations in the area for the last four months. The ships will meet in the Gulf of Aden in the middle of April and formally hand over command of the EU NAVFOR Task Force.
Operation ATALANTA’s main tasks are to escort merchant vessels carrying humanitarian aid of the ‘World Food Program’ (WFP) and vessels of AMISOM, and to protect vulnerable ships in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean and to deter and disrupt piracy. EU NAVFOR also monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.
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