EU NAVFOR’s Operation Commander, Major General Rob Magowan CBE, was welcomed aboard EU NAVFOR’s Spanish flagship, ESPS Galicia, by the operation’s Force Commander afloat, Rear Admiral Rafael Fernández-Pintado Muñoz-Rojas.
After being welcomed aboard, Major General Magowan was given a briefing on the current piracy situation at sea. Major General Magowan then took the opportunity to meet the ship’s company to thank them for their hard work since they joined Operation Atalanta back in February.
Just last month during a counter-piracy patrol close to the east coast of Somalia, ESPS Galicia’s crew sailed at top speed to assist a merchant ship, MT Costina, that was being attacked by armed pirates. When the pirates became aware that ESPS Galicia was fast approaching, they broke off their attack and the crew remained safe.
Whilst the key roles for Operation Atalanta are to protect World Food Programme vessels carrying humanitarian aid to the Somali people and to deter and disrupt pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia, Operation Atalanta’s warships also provide support to other EU missions in the Horn of Africa, such as EUCAP Somalia, where staff are helping to improve the Somali maritime civilian law enforcement capacity and EUTM Somalia, where staff contribute to the capacity building of Somali National Army.