The Italian Navy’s Maestrale-class frigate, ITS Espero, has been deployed off the coast of Somalia as part of EU NAVFOR’s counter-piracy operations since 25 March 2017.
Led by Commander Luigi Pirozzi, ITS Espero’s sailors and marines ensured that they were fully prepared for this important EU mission by carrying out counter-piracy training prior to departing their base port of Taranto in Italy. Since joining EU NAVFOR, ITS Espero’s ship’s company has made a significant contribution to deterring acts of piracy against merchant ships transiting the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean.
Over the past few months ITS Espero has also provided support to EU sister missions that are working to strengthen maritime security and capabilities of regional states within the Horn of Africa region.
During their counter-piracy patrols, EU NAVFOR warships also monitor fishing activity off the coast of Somalia, and they will report any vessels that are activity engaged in fishing to the Directorate General for Maritime Affairs & Fisheries (DG MARE) in Brussels, which will conduct investigations it deems necessary relating to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
This is ITS Espero’s second deployment with EU NAVFOR, her first deployment was back in 2011.