Swedes prepare to join EU NAVFOR in the Gulf of AdenApril 9, 2010 - 14:28
The designated Swedish Force Commander of the EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) operating off Somalia, Rear Admiral (LH) Jan Thörnqvist, arrived in Djibouti 5 April onboard the Swedish warship Carlskrona to a warm welcome from the French frigate La Fayette commanded by Commander Eric Delepoulle.
On entering harbour, HSwMS Carlskrona lowered one of the ships RHIBs (fast boats) to transport Rear Admiral (LH) Jan Thörnqvist, who next Wednesday will take over as Force Commander of the EU NAVFOR Somalia – Operation ATALANTA (EU NAVFOR), to the EU NAVFOR French frigate La Fayette, where Commander Eric Delepoulle welcomed his Swedish guests.
During the visit, Admiral Thörnqvist and his colleagues received an update on the situation in the Gulf of Aden and also the abilities of the French frigate La Fayette including what the La Fayette has to offer in the fight against piracy. One of La Fayette’s many advantages is that she carries a helicopter and also has a hangar. In addition, she is constructed under the so-called Stealth principle – the same technique that is to be used in the new Swedish corvettes of Visby-class. The stealth-technique involves design, materials, shape and colour – which limit the ship’s signatures – acoustic, magnetic, and radar making it difficult to detect.
On April 14, the present Italian command ship Etna will transfer its authority for Operation Atalanta to a Swedish-led multinational Force Headquarters (FHQ) on board HSwMS Carlskrona.
EU NAVFOR Somalia – Operation ATALANTA’s main tasks are to escort merchant vessels carrying humanitarian aid of the ‘World Food Program’ (WFP) and vessels of AMISOM, and to protect vulnerable ships in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean and to deter and disrupt piracy. EU NAVFOR also monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.
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