H.E. Mr. Vincent Degert
Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Seychelles
Seychelles, 18 November 2019—Over the past three weeks, Operation ATALANTA flagships the ITS Antonio Marceglia, the ESPS Canarias and the ESPS Victoria, Force Commander Rear Admiral Armando Paolo Simi and other Operation ATALANTA personnel collaborated with Canadian and American forces in the Seychelles to carry out various exercises for Cutlass Express (C.E.) 19.2.
C.E. 19.2, which in its entirety lasted three weeks, is a multinational exercise designed to assess and improve combined maritime law enforcement capacity and promote national and regional security in east Africa.
Some of the activities in which Operation ATALANTA participated included:
- First Aid exercises
- Tactical Movements on board ITS Antonio Marceglia
- Search and rescue exercise with the ITS Antonio Marceglia helicopter
- Ladder activity and boarding activities
Force Commander Rear Admiral Armando Paolo Simi co-hosted a reception on board ITS Antonio Marceglia alongside EU Ambassador H.E. Mr. Vincent Degert, Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Seychelles.
The reception, which gathered 70 guests including high officials of the Republic of Seychelles, and the crew of the flagship, was organised to mark the successful participation of EU NAVFOR Somalia in the Cutlass Express 19.2 exercise.
"The European Union has over the years developed an integrated approach through its foreign policy and instruments to contribute to the security and the development in this region," said Mr. Degert. "This is not done in isolation but in a coordinated way and in close cooperation with all of our partners to achieve the best possible results."
Maritime forces from 17 East African, European, North American and West Indian Ocean nations joined several international organizations in celebrating the successful execution of the multinational maritime exercises. Cutlass Express demonstrates E.U. and partner nation commitment to regional stability and maritime security. Nearly 60 nations participated in the exercises including Somalia, Djibouti, Mauritius, Mozambique, Tanzania, Seychelles, the United States, Kenya, Canada, Georgia, Greece, Egypt, Madagascar, Kingdom of Saudia Arabia, Senegal and Comoros.
CE 19.2, sponsored by U.S. Africa Command and led by CNE-CNA/U.S. 6th Fleet (C6F), is designed to assess and improve combined maritime law enforcement capacity, promote national and regional security in East Africa, and increase interoperability between the U.S., African nations, and international partners. It is one of three CNE-CNA/C6F-facilitated regional exercises undertaken to provide African forces and international partners with collaborative opportunities on comprehensive maritime security concerns.