17 August 2009

Incident: NATO launches Ocean Shield operation

NATO's Ocean Shield operation begins off the Horn of Africa.
"No timeframe has been set for this long-term operation, which will last as long as it's deemed necessary," Major Stefano Sbaccanti, a spokesman from the alliance's Joint Command Lisbon, told AFP. It takes over from NATO's sea-based operation Allied Protector, launched last year, but with a new mandate to also "assist regional states, upon their request, in developing their own ability to combat piracy," a statement said. The operation "will contribute to a lasting maritime security solution off the Horn of Africa," NATO said. NATO's Joint Command Lisbon is in overall command, with day-to-day operations controlled out of the alliance's Maritime Component Command Headquarters Northwood in Britain. British, Greek, Italian, Turkish and US warships are involved in Ocean Shield, but "other countries are thinking of coming to reinforce the operation which could evolve at any moment," Sbaccanti said."
(AFP via ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 8/19/09)