On Thursday 11 July 2017 Italian warship, ITS Espero, started her journey home to her base of Taranto after a 108-day deployment with EU NAVFOR off the coast of Somalia.
During her deployment ITS Espero’s ship’s company conducted counter-piracy patrols to help deter and suppress acts of piracy. During the patrols ITS Espero’s marines met local Somali fishermen to explain the role of EU NAVFOR and to provide much-needed reassurance.
During port calls ITS Espero’s commanding, Commander Luigi Pirozzi, met regional partners to strengthen mutual trust and understanding and his crew assisted staff from EU sister mission, EUCAP Somalia, to train local maritime forces.
Speaking about ITS Espero’s deployment, EU NAVFOR’s Force Commander, Rear Admiral Rafael Fernández-Pintado Muñoz-Rojas, said: I want to thank Commander Luigi and his ship’s company for their professionalism and untiring commitment. They can return home to their families knowing that they have made a valuable contribution to the safe transit of seafarers, merchant ships and World Food Programme humanitarian aid vessels. I wish them all a safe journey home and some well-deserved rest.”
As part of Italy’s contribution to the European Union’s counter-piracy operations, Italian Navy frigate, ITS Fasan, will ‘in-chop’ to EU NAVFOR on Thursday 27 July as the new flagship.