On 22nd June 2021, Operation Atalanta welcomed the first Colombian officers to the Operation during an official flag ceremony. One of them will be serving in the Operation Headquarters in Rota (Spain) for a period of 6 months. The second officer will be deployed to the Force Headquarters on board the EU Naval Force flagship ESPS Navarra for 4 months in 2021. Although Colombia has collaborated with EU NAVFOR in the past, it is the first time the operation receives officers as staff members.
In August 2014, the Republic of Colombia signed an agreement with the European Union establishing a framework for Crisis Management Operations. After the Political and Security Committee formally approved its contribution in early 2015, Colombia collaborated with the Counter Piracy Operation with warship ARC 7 De Agosto. The Colombian warship worked together with the EU Naval Force to escort and protect World Food Programme chartered vessels and vulnerable shipping along the Somali coastline and contributed to prevent, deter and disrupt any acts of piracy in the Gulf of Aden.
After a visit of the Ambassador of Colombia to the European Union and his delegation to the Operation Headquarters, the Embassy of Colombia to the Kingdom of Belgium submitted a verbal note to the EU External Action Service confirming the participation of Colombia to the EU Naval Force Somalia on March 17th.
“The fact that new partners, in this case Colombia, joins the European Union in its endeavour for a saver world is the best example of the dynamism of the EU Common Security and Defence Policy. It proves that the EU and Colombia are committed to a free, open, inclusive and rule-based maritime order, underpinned by principles such as the respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, democracy, rule of law, transparency freedom of navigation and overflight, unimpeded lawful commerce and peaceful resolution of disputed.”
Operation Commander, Rear Admiral José M. Núñez Torrente