Egyptian Naval Assets and the Spanish Navy’s Galicia Class Landing Platform Dock ‘Castilla L52’ conducted a passing exercise during Castilla’s transit to the Gulf of Aden.
Egypt’s military has said that the passing exercise conducted at the Berenice Military Base on the Red Sea.
The Oliver Hazard Perry Class frigate “Sharm El-Sheikh” frigate and Tiger Class Fast Attack Craft the “June 18” missile boat took part in the exercise from the Egyptian side.
A statement issued by the Egyptian armed forces said that the exercise included various professional activities, including sea supply training and naval formation exercises.
The statement added that the exercises “revealed the capability of the joint naval forces to efficiently and quickly take positions, as well as execute signal transportation and exchange exercises on naval unit surfaces.”
It said that the exercise “contributes in exchanging joint experiences with the Spanish side, utilizing joint experiences in achieving interests for both sides, and enhances Egyptian-Spanish military cooperation.”
Egyptian naval forces also conducted some passing exercises with Hellenic Navy and the French Navies recently.
Castilla is now in Djibouti to take over the Operation Atalanta mission from Santa Maria-class frigate Reina Sofia. Reina Sofia has conducted the mission for 4 months.
Operation Atalanta, formally European Union Naval Force Somalia, is a current counter-piracy military operation at sea off the Horn of Africa and in the Western Indian Ocean, that is the first naval operation conducted by the European Union.
The European Union is concerned with the effect of Somali-based piracy and armed robbery at sea off the Horn of Africa and in the Western Indian Ocean. Somali-based piracy is characterised by criminals taking control of vessels transiting the High Risk Area in the Region and extorting ransom money for the crew, the vessel and cargo: this bears all the features of organised crime. Crews held hostage by pirates often face a prolonged period of captivity, the average being 5 months, although some hostages have been held for almost three years. Moreover, piracy impacts on international trade and maritime security and on the economic activities and security of countries in the region.
As a result, and as part of its Integrated Approach to Somalia, the EU launched the European Union Naval Force ATALANTA (EU NAVFOR) in December 2008 within the framework of the European Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and in accordance with relevant UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR) and International Law.