10 December 2009

Analysis: EU NAVFOR announces "year of success"

EU NAVFOR celebrated its first year of operations with a cake and the declaration that "This has been a period of success for EU Naval Force."
Admiral Hudson, the Operational Commander of EU NAVFOR stated that “while piracy cannot be defeated at sea alone, much is being done in Europe to bring stability to Somalia. We have been very successful in capturing pirates and pirate activity has been severely disrupted”.
Some of the highlights:

* "Sharing of information through the Shared Awareness and Deconfliction Conferences (SHADE), has been extremely successful and this cooperation is bringing together national navies not normally associated with the EU, NATO and CMF."

* "The establishment of the International Recognised Transit Corridor in the Gulf of Aden has been a great achievement in the management and provision of protection to commercial shipping transiting these dangerous waters."

* "Effective communication with the commercial shipping community has been established through the establishment of Maritime Security Centre, Horn of Africa (MSCHOA), a website system that allows EU Naval Force to provide Best Management Practice anti piracy advice to commercial shipping and information in the form of warnings and alerts of pirate threats."

* "The establishment of a secure internet based communications system called Mercury also provides connectivity between EU NAVFOR, NATO and CMF as well as an impressive array of international states such as China, India, Japan and Russia."

Oddly, the force continues to list its primary mission as defense of World Food Programme shipments, with a secondary mission "deter and disrupt piracy." Third on its list is "to protect vulnerable shipping." (Press release, 12/10/09)