15 Dec. 2008

NATO hands over counter-piracy
operation to EU

Admiral Gumiero, Commander of the NATO counter-piracy Operation Allied Provider off the coast of Somalia, met with his EU counterpart, Commodore Papaioannou, to ensure a smooth transition to EU Operation ATALANTA on 14 December 2008.

The meeting was held at sea, on board the NATO flagship ITS Durand de la Penne, where Admiral Gumiero shared his knowledge and perception of the maritime challenges in the region with Commodore Papaioannou. “I believe the information we provided the EU Commander will certainly help him in successfully conducting ATALANTA”, said the Admiral after the meeting.

NATO deployed Operation Allied Provider from 24 October to 12 December in response to a United Nations’ request, as a temporary force to provide support to the World Food Programme and bolster anti-piracy efforts in the area. During this period NATO ships ensured the safe delivery of 30 thousand tonnes of food to Somalia, disrupted several pirate attacks against merchant vessels, and deterred countless others.

During a teleconference with the press on 12 December, Admiral Gumiero warned that the piracy threat was “growing exponentially” and that a coordinated international response was needed. “We are working all together, facing the same threat. Coordination of effort is fundamental to achieve our goal", said the Admiral.