Op Atalanta warship NORTHUMBERLAND (UK) escorts 4 World Food Program ships into safe havens

Feb 05, 2009 - 19:37
The Op Atalanta warship NORTHUMBERLAND (UK) is this week escorting four different World Food Program (WFP) ships into three different Somali ports. Thus far two ships have arrived safely in Mogadishu and Bosaso with a further two expected in Berbera over this weekend.

Escorting WFP ships is a principle task for Op Atalanta and so far almost 40,000 tonnes of aid have been delivered into Somalia - enough to feed over 1.2 million people.

Soon to join Op Atalanta is the Spanish frigate SPS VICTORIA, arriving in the Gulf of Aden early next week. She is a Spanish warship of the USN OLIVER HAZARD PERRY (FFG-7) design and carries two Seahawk LAMPS III helicopters onboard.

The German frigate KARLSRUHE is being relieved by its sister ship RHEINLAND-PFALZ this weekend and a handover ceremony will take place in Djibouti to mark the occasion.

Commander (GE) Hans-Joachim Kuhfahl, commanding officer of the KARLSRUHE had this to say as their deployment draws to a close.

“It has been a great privilege to be part of Operation Atalanta. All the ship’s company have found the deployment very rewarding as they have clearly seen the value of what they are doing. Protecting the merchant fleet has had a real benefit to global trade and we have had a very positive response from all the merchant vessels we have worked with over the past few months”,

Finally, 7 vessels now remain held under pirate control along with approximately 120 crew members.