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Operation Atalanta anti-pirates. European means (Maj 3)

(BRUSSELS2) While the Belgian frigate Louise-Marie has now arrived in Djibouti, the last piece of the four-monthly rotation, and operation Atalanta is entering a new phase, before the one-year review, it is time to update the main resources involved in the European anti-piracy operation, “Eunavfor Atalanta”. Because this has changed somewhat since the last update.

In the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, there are currently 13 ships (mainly frigates), 4 aircraft (3 maritime patrol boats, P3 Orion based in Djibouti and Atlantique II currently based in Mombasa + Awacs). More than 2000 men mobilized. (NB: The two Luxembourg “Merlin III” planes have not yet arrived). Nine countries are participating in the operation on site (see list of ships and planes below), one of which is not a member of the EU. And around ten others (Bulgaria, Croatia*, Cyprus, Finland, Malta, Hungary, Ireland, Malta, Poland, Spain, United Kingdom, Slovenia, Switzerland*) have sent personnel to the General Staff of operation (OHQ), force (FHQ) or logistics (FHQ logistics). In addition, a US liaison officer is present at Northwood headquarters. And liaison officers from neighboring countries (Yemen, Djibouti, etc.) are on board certain force boats.

*Non-EU countries


List of ships and aircraft present in the area:


Netherlands : the frigate “Evertsen” (F-805) took over, on August 3, from the Spanish Numancia, as flagship. Recently released from the shipyards (2001 with commissioning in 2005), it can accommodate a command device and carries a Lynx helicopter (NH-90).

Germany. The "Brandenburg" frigate (F-215) and the anti-submarine frigate "Bremen" (F-207), with a crew of around 200 people and two Sea Lynx Mk 88 A type helicopters (vessel equivalent to that of the Rheinland-Pfalz sent at the start of the operation).

Belgium. The frigate “Louise-Marie” (F-931) and its 169 men and women have just arrived in the area.

Spain. A “Canarias” frigate (F-82, with a crew of 193 people (44 of whom are women) as well as a team of Marine commandos (16) and two Sikorsky SH60 helicopters with their team of pilots and mechanics of 19 people + a P3-Orion surveillance plane (100 men).

France. The “Lafayette” (F-210) and “Germinal” (F-732) frigates. (NB: If necessary, ships based in Reunion or Djibouti can come as reinforcements).

Greece. The "Adrias" frigate (F-459), with a crew of 200 people and its Lynx helicopter.

Italy. The frigate "Maestrale" (F-570), which was at the end of August on an official visit to the Seychelles.

Norway. The frigate “Fridtjof Nansen” (F-310) which marks the first participation of a state not part of the EU. With 150 people on board: a crew of 115 officers and sailors, as well as 35 specialists, including a naval special forces unit, interpreters, military police and a lawyer. The ship is equipped to hold up to 8 pirates on board.

Sweden. The support ship HMS Trossö (A-264) and two corvettes HMS Malmo (K-12) and HMS Stockholm (K-11).



Commander of the operation: Rear Admiral Peter Hudson (British). Bio, read: “Surprise change at the head of Atalanta: Jones resigns”.

Deputy Operation Commander: Rear Admiral Thorsten Kähler (German)

Operational Headquarters (OHQ): Northwood (UK)

Force Commander (by rotation every 4 months): Commodore Pieter Bindt (Dutch) until December 2009. Read “a commander and a frigate “made in Nederland” for Atalanta”.

Force Headquarters (FHQ): frigate “Evertsen” (Netherlands).

Logistics base (LHQ): Djibouti – on the French military air base

Duration: December 12, 2008 to December 12, 2010 (the operation has been renewed, read: Ministers confirm) divided by periods of 4 months

Financing: 8,3 million euros for 2009, distributed according to a distribution key (GDP) between the 26 Member States participating in the ESDP (Athena mechanism) – essentially financing the General Staff -, the various resources sent are to the burden on the national budgets of the countries that send them.

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).