On Wednesday 6 September, the German P-3C-Orion Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft (MPRA) left its base in Nordholz, Germany to rejoin the fight against piracy being conducted by EU NAVFOR.
The P-3C, its crew and supporting staff are now deployed to Djibouti to work alongside the Spanish P-3 MPRA detachment permanently based there as part of the EU Naval Force effort to deter, prevent and repress piracy. With Spain providing an MPRA on a permanent basis, the arrival of the German aircraft will enhance the opportunities for EU NAVFOR to use this crucial capability during the inter-monsoon period.
Both the Spanish and German detachments will be on task throughout the area of operations, monitoring developments and providing situational awareness on land and at sea thus assisting EU NAVFOR’s warships. The P-3C, using its inherent flexibility, speed, reach and response time, has also been used to assist vessels under pirate attack, working either alone or in coordination with other assets such as EU NAVFOR helicopters and warships.
Spain and Germany have both deployed MPRAs to the area since the very start of Operation Atalanta, the expertise gained by their respective crews being a key factor contributing to the success of the EU NAVFOR operation.