Spanish Minister of Defense visits EU NAVFOR warship in DjiboutiJuly 13, 2011 - 10:42
On the 7th of July, the Spanish Minister of Defence, Carme Chacon, accompanied by the Chief of Defense, General José Julio Rodriguez, visited the Spanish frigate ESPS Santa María during her port visit in Djibouti.
The Minister was received by the Commanding Officer, Commander Gonzalo Parente, who briefed on counter piracy capabilities and activities during the ship’s participation in Operation Atalanta, the European Union Mission supporting the escort of food-aid into Somalia and deterrence of piracy around the Horn of Africa. On completion, a short tour was conducted onboard, followed by a speech by the Minister of Defence to the ship’s company.
“By accomplishing your mission, pirates are not the lords of these seas… you are the one and only boundary that impedes criminal attacks on sailors and fishermen” the Minister said. The Minister also conveyed a very supporting and encouraging message from the King of Spain and the President of the Government of Spain to keep on performing this demanding mission so far away from home.
EUNAVFOR Somalia – Operation ATALANTA’s main tasks are to escort merchant vessels carrying humanitarian aid of the World Food Program (WFP) and vessels of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). EUNAVFOR also protects vulnerable vessels in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean, deters and disrupts piracy and monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.
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