On Monday 31 July 2017 sailors from ITS Virginio Fasan greeted local Somali fishermen during their EU NAVFOR counter-piracy patrols. This is the first time that sailors from the Italian Navy frigate have met local fishermen since ITS Virginio Fasan deployed to the Horn of Africa to become the new EU NAVFOR flagship on Thursday 27 July 2017.
Meetings such as this provide EU NAVFOR sailors with the opportunity to build relationships with the Somali fishing communities and to understand their concerns. It also enables them to talk about Operation Atalanta’s mission to protect World Food Programme vessels and to deter pirate attacks on seafarers. Operation Atalanta sailors also support staff from EU sister mission, EUCAP Somalia, to train local forces to help strengthen maritime security in the region.