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ITS Espero joins Operation Atalanta

The ITS Espero leaving the port of Taranto (Italy). (Credit: Italian Ministry of Defense)

(B2) The Italian frigate, theITS Hope, joined the European operation to fight piracy off the Somali coast on Saturday March 25.

Ordered by the Order (Commander) Luigi Pirozzi, the Italians will be present in the next four months to patrol the waters of the Gulf of Aden and the Somali basin – where a small upsurge in piracy has been felt recently –, protect World Food Program ships carrying humanitarian aid to Somalia, and support twin missions (EUTM and EUCAP) working on capacity building in Somalia. 

Italians ready for the resumption of piracy

The four months of mission will be intense. Just two weeks ago, Somali hackers pulled off a successful attack – the first since 2012 – showing the threat still exists (read: The pirates go on the attack again in the Gulf of Aden. The captured Aris 13). Before leaving his home port of Taranto, Luigi Pirozzi indicated that “ the crew and I are fully prepared and ready for what I know will be a busy four months. It is imperative that pirate attacks continue to be suppressed off the coast of Somalia so that ships can remain safe. "The ship" est perfectly suited to the counterpiracy operation " and the crew received a "fintensive operational training against piracy ». 

On board, in addition to the crew of 200 people, several specialized boarding teams: the special troops of the San Marco navy, the divers of the “gruppo Operativo Subacquei” and the numbers of the “air” component for the AB212 helicopter.

Second participation in the operation

For theI hope, this is the second deployment in the European operation. Its first participation dates back to 2011. The frigate notably provided assistance to the MV Glamour, a Italian merchant ship was attacked in early May by four armed pirates aboard a skiff, about 700 nautical miles from Salalah (Oman). Pirates not hesitating to shoot RPG on the boat (read: Latest piracy news (May 15, 2011)). The last Italian ship participating in the operation was the frigate " Euro who ended his engagement on September 30 (2016).

(Leonor Hubaut)

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Leonor Hubaut

© B2 - Bruxelles2 is a French online media that focuses on political Europe (powers, defence, foreign policy, internal security). It follows and analyzes developments in European policy, unvarnished and without concessions. Approved by the CPPAP. Member of SPIIL. Please quote "B2" or "Bruxelles2" in case of recovery Leonor Hubaut is a journalist. Graduated in international relations from the Free University of Brussels (specialization in globalization). She covers for B2 the work of the European Parliament, CSDP missions and African issues. Sahel specialist.