After attending the successful EU Day event in Mogadishu on Tuesday 9 May, EU NAVFOR’s Operation Commander, Major General Rob Magowan CBE, took the opportunity to fly to Djibouti to meet the Operation Atalanta teams that are based there.
He also took the opportunity to fly on board EU NAVFOR’s Italian warship, ITS Espero, at sea off the coast. After flying from Djibouti in ITS Espero’s AB212 helicopter, Major General Magowan was welcomed on board by ITS Espero’s commanding officer, Commander Luigi Pirozzi.
Following a discussion about ITS Espero’s recent counter-piracy operations, the Operation Commander spent time meeting the sailors and marines and he spoke of his personal appreciation for their hard work and commitment, in what is a challenging and busy operational environment.
Operation Atalanta’s key roles are to protect World Food Programme vessels delivering humanitarian aid to the people of Somalia, to deter and disrupt acts of piracy and to help EU sister missions to enhance regional capacities and strengthen maritime security in the region.
At the end of his visit, the Operation Commander flew back to Djibouti, and then onwards to the operational HQ.