‘Friendly approaches’ are a chance for the EU Naval Force to reassure local seafarers that Operation Atalanta is on watch to deter piracy activity off the Horn of Africa.
EU Naval Force Warships Connect With Regional Seafarers
Whilst patrolling the seas off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden, EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia Operation Atalanta warships often visit regional cargo and fishing dhows operating in these waters.
These ‘friendly approaches’, as they are known, are a chance for the EU Naval Force to reassure local seafarers that Operation Atalanta is on watch to deter piracy activity off the Horn of Africa. They also offer an opportunity for EU NAVFOR to gain information about local vessel movements and possible pirate activity in the area.
Regional dhows like these have been used in the past by pirates as mother ships, from which they launch attacks against merchant shipping transiting the area.
Recently, both NRP Álvares Cabral and HSwMS Carlskrona have conducted friendly approaches. Speaking about the friendly approach, Thomas Andersson, commander of the boarding team on HSwMS Carlskrona said, “they are a way of ‘showing our presence’ to locals and this was an excellent example of this. One very important person in this kind of activity is the interpreter. Without him we cannot make our self understood.”