NATO extends counter-piracy operation
NATO Defence Ministers decided to continue a counter-piracy operation off the Horn of Africa and in the Gulf of Aden. The Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2), which currently consists of five ships, will start operating in the area as of early July 2009.
NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said that more nations may contribute with additional frigates, maritime patrol assets and intelligence support in the near future.
The Group will replace the SNMG1 that is currently conducting the counterpiracy Operation Allied Protector until 28 June 2009. Between March and now, SNMG1 escorted 26 ships, including those vessels which were in support of the World Food Programme (WFP) - all of these ships successfully reached their destination.