On Friday 23 October 2015 the five warships that are currently deployed with Operation Atalanta off the coast of Somalia met at sea in the Gulf of Aden.
Operation Atalanta’s flagship, ITS Carabiniere, was joined by Spanish warships, ESPS Victoria and ESPS Meteoro, Dutch warship HNLMS Groningen, and German warship, FGS Erfurt. The ships came together in a close-formation and practiced close-quarter manoeuvres.
The Force Commander, Rear Admiral Barbieri, took the opportunity to visit HNLMS Groningen and ESPS Meteoro for the first time since taking command of the force at sea at the start of October.
Rear Admiral Barbieri addressed both ships saying:
“This is an important time for Operation Atalanta; the improving weather in the region means pirates may find it easier to get out to sea, therefore we have to remain vigilant. There is a lot of hard work ahead, but during my visit today you have shown me that you are ready for the challenges that the coming months will bring.”