NATO and Indian Counter-Piracy Task Force commanders meet
On 23 August, the Commander of NATO’s counter-piracy task force, Commodore Christian Rune, Royal Danish Navy, met with the Commander of the Indian counter-piracy task group, Captain S. Srikant, onboard NATO’s flagship, the Danish ship HDMS ESBERN SNARE, in Salalah, Oman. The two commanders discussed developments in counter-piracy tactics and improvements in communications and information-sharing between the forces.
Cooperation is a key part of NATO’s effort to counter the threat of piracy. “Indian naval forces’ contribution to the counter-piracy operation is pivotal to the effort to provide safe passage for international merchant shipping through this very busy maritime corridor,” said Commodore Rune, who commands three Allied ships in the Horn of Africa region.
“The escorts of merchant ship convoys provided by the Indian Task Force compliments the counter-piracy efforts of the other international organizations, including NATO’s Operation Ocean Shield,” he added. “The co-operation of all the forces provides the synergy that we need to prevail.”
The three NATO ships currently active in Operation Ocean Shield are the Danish combat support ship HDMS ESBERN SNARE (NATO Flagship), the Dutch frigate HNLMS DE ZEVEN PROVINCIËN and the USS KAUFFMAN, a US Navy frigate.
The Indian Navy has deployed a task group to the Gulf of Aden, currently consisting of the destroyer INSDELHI, which conducts escorts of convoys for international merchant vessels transiting through the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC).
While conducting the escorts, Indian Navy assets co-operate and share information with the international organizations conducting counter-piracy in the Horn of Africa region. These include task forces from NATO (Operation Ocean Shield), the European Union (Operation Atalanta), Coalition Maritime Forces, and other nations providing unilateral support to the effort.