On 14 December 2010, EUNAVFOR Flagship FS DE GRASSE fulfilled her last day of operations after 4 months conducting counter-piracy activities in the Gulf of Aden and the Somali Basin.
FS DE GRASSE, with its 300 crewmembers, was the platform for EUNAVFOR Force Headquarters from 14 August to 14 December 2010.
Among the various tasks that the FS DE GRASSE fulfilled whilst deployed was the escort of five vessels chartered by either the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) or the World Food Program (WFP).
It is EUNAVFOR’s priority mission to escort WFP merchant vessels carrying humanitarian aid, along with vessels of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
A considerable part of the Somali population is living in poverty and millions of people are dependent on the help offered by the international community. It is therefore of particular importance that these food transports arrive at their destination safely, without being targeted by pirates.
AMISOM-chartered vessels are escorted by EUNAVFOR warships to support the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia. The European Union Member States support the AMISOM in order to improve, in particular, the efficiency of the Somali Police Force and to combat any abuse and serious violations of Human Rights.
In addition, FS DE GRASSE disrupted a total of seven Pirate Action Groups (PAG), comprising of 48 suspected pirates. These disruptions hampered pirate action and avoided highly probable attacks on vulnerable vessels.
On 26 September, the warship also provided assistance to a drifting whaler off the Somali coasts, thereby helping four seafarers to reach the shore safely.
EUNAVFOR thanks the warship and her crew for the good work conducted during her time in Operation ATALANTA.