The Finnish Navy’s flagship, the mine-laying vessel “Pohjanmaa”, has concluded her high profile participation in the EU-led Operation Atalanta off the Horn of Africa.
The task of the Pohjanmaa in the area was to protect merchant vessels in the Gulf of Aden, between Somalia and the Arab Peninsula.
The minelayer was transferred back to the Finnish Navy just before midnight on Saturday 30th April, and the vessel started her voyage home from the eastern coast of Africa on May 1st. ThePohjanmaa is scheduled to arrrive at its Finnish home port of Upinniemi in Kirkkonummi on May 23rd.
The Finnish Navy regards the operation as successful. Admiral Veli-Jukka Pennala says that the Pohjanmaa performed all its tasks well.
”The crew performed excellently, coping well with the difficult circumstances. We have gained a great deal of knowledge that will also benefit national defence”, Pennala notes.
In addition to protecting merchant vessels, the Pohjanmaa also apprehended 18 suspected pirates in the Arabian Sea and assisted a South Korean fishing vessel that had been released after four months of captivity in Somalian waters.