Wednesday, 23rd of March, the Rear Admiral (Italian Navy) Stefano Barbieri handed over the EU Naval Force Somalia command to the Rear Admiral (German Navy) Jan Christian Kaack, in Djibouti. At the same moment Rear Admiral Barbieri completed his mission as EUROMARFOR Task Group Commander.
The Change of Command ceremony was held on ITS Carabiniere flight deck, in the presence of EU NAVFOR Somalia Deputy Commander, Rear Admiral (Swedish Navy) Jonas Wikstrom, the Parliamentary State Secretary of German Minister Of Defence Markus Grübel, the commander of the Italian Joint Operational Head Quarter, Maj. Gen. (Italian Army) Marco Bertolini, the European, German and Japanese Ambassador in Djibouti, international military delegation and regional press.
Rear Admiral Barbieri shift up the Operation Atalanta 21st Rotation, the 9th for EUROMARFOR, staff command after 6 months at sea reaching valuable results in continuing to deter acts of piracy and to strengthen cooperation with international counter-piracy partners, further enhancing maritime capacity building programs with regional countries.
“We are very proud to have contributing to the aim of increasing stability and generating sustainable livelihoods for local communities population livelihood standards in this region - Rear Admiral Stefano Barbieri, said – it has been an honour to conduct such an Operation, which successfully results are unequivocally due to the efforts and high professionalism of all Task Force staff and crew members, always supporting me with the highest motivation and sense of duty”.
During the ceremony, was observed one minute of silence in memory of those who lost their lives through the terrorist attack at the metro and airport in Brussels.
With more than 23.000 nautical miles sailed and 2800 hours at sea, the EUNAVFOR Somalia and EUROMARFOR Flagship, the Italian frigate Carabiniere, took part to the European Task Force 465, composed of a periodically rotation of totally 5 naval units, 4 maritime air patrolling aircrafts, 4 helicopters and 15 members Lithuanian Force Protection Team embarked on the UN World Food Program ship MS Douro, in charge of bringing food supply to famine suffering populations in the Indian Ocean area.
The EUROMARFOR Task Group was composed in the period by ITS Carabiniere (flagship), ESPS Victoria and SPS Meteoro.
The Italian warship, the flagship, conducted more than 300 healings at sea and 47 friendly approaches, in order ensure safety at sea in the patrolled areas of operations, as well as the TF 465 conducted more than 125 air patrolling and information gathering air missions.
The 21st Rotation Task Force, 9th with an EUROMARFOR flagship, at sea also performed more than 18 joint military training and exercise sessions at sea and in port, together with local Navies and multinational anti-piracy tasks forces, with the common aim to defeat the illegal activities and enforce security in the regional seawaters.
The Italian Frigate was also awarded by FAO for escorting the UNFAO vessel MV Kestrel, appointed by UN Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO) to deploy the Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs), a very important project helping the local Somali fishermen to turn their self-sustenance activity into a wider sustainable profitable fishery economy, also providing an alternative form of employment, in line with the EU comprehensive approach strategy in fighting piracy. ITS Carabiniere, after FADs deployment, during her mission visits again the FADs locations in order to monitor and protect them.
“I want to congratulate with all of you for the well job done”
ends Maj. Gen. Bertolini