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EU NAVFOR Helicopters Attack Somali Pirates Ashore

EU Naval Force destroys pirate equipment on Somali coastline

Just about everyone agrees the solution to the scourge of Somali pirates has been ashore in Somalia, not at sea. But there was little enthusiasm about entering the pirates’ lair. That may be changing.

A May 15 operation conducted by the European Union Naval Forces involved an EU NAVFOR helicopter firing upon pirate skiffs stowed away on a beach on the Somali coastline.

“The focused, precise and proportionate action was conducted from the air and all forces returned safely to EU warships on completion,” read a statement issued by EU NAVFOR headquarters in Northwood, U.K. “Whilst assessment is on-going, surveillance of the area during the action indicates that no Somalis were injured ashore as a result of EU action.”

A May 15 operation conducted by the European Union Naval Forces involved an EU NAVFOR helicopter firing upon pirate skiffs stowed away on a beach on the Somali coastline.

“We believe this action by the EU Naval Force will further increase the pressure on, and disrupt pirates’ efforts to get out to sea to attack merchant shipping and dhows,” said Rear Adm. Duncan Potts, Operation Commander of the EU Naval Force. “The local Somali people and fishermen – many of whom have suffered so much because of piracy in the region, can be reassured that our focus was on known pirate supplies and will remain so in the future.”

Sea Lynx FGS Emden

An EU NAVFOR Sea Lynx from the German navy frigate Emden conducts a boarding of a suspected pirate vessel in 2008. EU NAVFOR photo

At no point did EU Naval Force “boots” go ashore, Potts said. “The EU Naval Force action against pirate supplies on the shoreline is merely an extension of the disruption actions carried out against pirate ships at sea.”

The operation was conducted in accordance with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1851, and was conducted following a decision taken on March 23, 2012, by the Council of the European Union to allow the EU Naval Force to take “disruption action” against the pirates who operate from the Coast of Somali.  The operation was conducted with the knowledge and support of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia.

EU NAVFOR’s Operation Atalanta is protecting World Food Program ships that bring humanitarian assistance to the Somali people.

By

Capt. Edward H. Lundquist, U.S. Navy (Ret.) is a senior-level communications professional with more than...