French warship (FS) Auvergne and Operation Atalanta’s flagship ITS Virginio Fasan conducted counter-piracy exercises to enhance cooperation and to broaden their expertise off the coast of Somalia.
French vessels and EU NAVFOR units work together to protect seafarers from piracy and maintain freedom of navigation. During the recent spike of pirate activity earlier this year, the FS Courbet had joined Operation Atalanta to enhance EU NAVFOR’s capabilities to deter pirate activities at sea.
Speaking about the French Forces’ cooperation with Operation Atalanta, the EU NAVFOR Force Commander, Rear Admiral Fabio Gregori said:
“As the Force Commander of the European Union’s Naval Forces, I highly appreciate the close cooperation with the French units in the area. Even if they operate under their national mandate, we seek all opportunities to enhance our common understanding so that we are ready to support each other’s mission in times of need”.
Operation Atalanta’s Force Headquarters is based on board the EU Naval Force flagship, ITS Virginio Fasan, which is currently deployed in the Indian Ocean as part of the European Union’s mission to deter piracy off the coast of Somalia and ensure freedom of navigation for seafarers and their vessels.