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A maritime information-coordination center for civilian ships

 (B2)At the same time as the EUNavfor (Atalanta) military operation, the European Union is setting up a Maritime Security Center for the Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA). Which in some way succeeds the EU Navco unit – set up in September. The objective, as described in the Council decision, is to assist sailors present in the Gulf of Aden, off the coast of Somalia and the Horn of Africa, by giving them as accurate an image as possible of the risks. possible in the waters crossed, as provided for by the resolutions of the UN Security Council (see last 1846).

The Center, staffed by military and merchant navy personnel from several countries, will be in close coordination with military forces operating in the region (notably those of Eu Navfor) and will provide support and protection to sailors. In order to know the destinations of merchant ships transiting the region, the MSC-HOA recommends that ship owners or captains register, via a website – securely – the positions of their ships. At the same time, they can also receive alerts, and all the information and advice needed to reduce the risk of hacker attacks. This site will operate in close collaboration with other organizations (in particular linked to the International Maritime Organization)

Like the operation, MSCHOA is placed under the authority of Admiral Philip Jones, based in Northwood OHQ (United Kingdom). It will start on December 8 at 8:00 a.m. Don't expect a response before then. You may receive this message: “ OP ATALANTA is still establishing full operational capability, at which time 24/7 coverage will be commenced. The HQ is closed until Monday 8th – 0800 hours, when you will receive a response to your message”…

Note that this creation is quite original in the context of European defense missions. This is the first time that a military operation has made a specific information and intelligence service available, in such a transparent manner, to the main economic players concerned.


Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).