A DEFINING POINT
On 18th May 2022, Atalanta Operation Commander VA Jose M. Nuñez Torrente (OpCdr) presented an operational update before all the Chiefs of Defence of the EU Member States at the EU Military Committee in Brussels. Along with the presentation of the 6 month’s report to the PSC, Atalanta conceives this event as the perfect occasion to highlight the achievements and challenges that conform the present and future of the Operation.
A DEFINING POINT
On the 1st of April, a short address to the OHQ multinational staff by Atalanta’s Operation Commander, Rear-Admiral Núñez Torrente, commemorated the third anniversary of EUNAVFOR Somalia Operation Atalanta in Rota. On 29th March 2019, a simple ceremony marked the relocation of the operation Headquarters of EU NAVFOR Atalanta Operation after close to 11 years in Northwood. The Major General of the UK Royal Marines, Charlie Stickland, passed the flag to the Vice Admiral of the Spanish Navy Antonio Martorell.
Operation Atalanta’s first counter-narcotic interception
On 21st of March, the French navy’s LHD Mistral and frigate Courbet seized four tons of cannabis and 90 kilograms of heroin on a stateless dhow. The interception occurred during a regular EUNAVFOR Somalia counter-piracy patrol to protect vessels transiting off the Horn of Africa and the Western Indian Ocean. Both vessels from the French navy’s Jeanne d´Arc 22 Mission participated in Direct Support in Operation ATALANTA.
Still in February 2022, the dominating topic for the Operation has remained the imminent way ahead due to the debates at the UNSC around the extension or non-extension of the UNSC resolution 2608 (2021) on the fight against piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia. Nevertheless, this scenario has not kept Atalanta from performing its duties to the highest extent of its possibilities and means.
The year 2022 began as busy as the previous year had ended, and the future of Operation Atalanta has remained a dominating topic, i.e. the extension or non-extension of the UNSC resolution 2608 (2021) on the fight against piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia beyond the 3rd of March 2022.