Any asset integrating Operation ATALANTA has to meet a set of readiness standards to execute its inherent tasks, thus contributing to achieve the mission’s goals. However, depending on the type of asset, certain performance standards cannot be maintained with internal exercises only, and require interacting with others actors and reaching out for external support in order to cover the full range of capabilities. In an effort to strengthen our assets capabilities.
EU NAVFOR Atalanta just recently conducted a series of exercises with the French Armed Forces posted in Djibouti including an air defence exercise with air fighters and helicopter manoeuvres, which landed and took off several times from the frigate ESPS Reina Sofía's flight deck to test the interoperability of all assets involved. More than training activities, these exercises are in fact real operations, as the helicopter training shows: landing and taking off from a ship is always real - there is no room for error.
This is also true for the replenishment of ships at sea (RAS). It not only allows to maintain the required readiness standards, but, above all, guarantees the logistical support of the ships, preventing them from entering port just to refuel and, consequently, slowing down the operational tempo. This becomes even more important in an area of operations the size of Western Europe, as it is the case of Operation ATALANTA.
“EU NAVFOR flagship, frigate Reina Sofía carried out a RAS with the invaluable collaboration of the USNS Big Horn, ensuring that our frigate can continue to perform its usual tasks without having to interrupt them to refuel in port. I am deeply grateful to all forces operating in the area of operations for these invaluable opportunities to cooperate and wishing that we will continue to do so in the future.” (Force Commander CTF465, Commodore Diogo Arroteia)