by EU NAVFOR Public Affairs Office
EU NAVFOR HNLMS Johan de Witt has effectively blocked known pirate access on the Somali coast from access to the open sea. As an amphibious ship, HNLMS Johan de Witt is able, from a dock within the ship, to launch a number of smaller vessels, LCVPs (Landing craft for vehicle and personnel transport), that can provide a blockading role on selected known pirate areas of the Somali coast.
Under orders from the Swedish EU NAVFOR Force Headquarters Ship Carlskrona, the warship Johan de Witt was positioned on the Somali coast to provide surveillance and reconnaissance patrols with the aim of gaining useful information while restricting and interdicting pirate movement on the coast. With the onset of the monsoon, increasingly poor weather conditions making pirate activities very difficult, creating an urgency amongst the pirates to get to sea quickly.
EU NAVFOR HNLMS Johan de Witt is providing an excellent blocking force and very effectively denying pirate access to the high sea at a time when worsening weather conditions is making pirate operations increasingly more difficult.
EU NAVFOR Somalia – Operation ATALANTA’s main tasks are to escort merchant vessels carrying humanitarian aid of the World Food Programme (WFP) and vessels of African Union Mission in Somalia, AMISOM and to protect vulnerable vessels in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean and to deter and disrupt piracy. EU NAVFOR also monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.
(Source: EU NAVFOR)