On December 18, the Fasan ship crew arrives in La Spezia after five months of anti-piracy activities carried out in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and part of the Indian Ocean
On Monday 18 December, the European Multi-Mission Frigate (FREMM) Virginio Fasan returned to La Spezia, after five intense months of participation in the “EUNAVFOR Atalanta” operation, a European Union mission operating in an area between the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and part of the Indian Ocean, to ensure the presence, surveillance and police on the high seas aimed at combating the phenomenon of piracy.
The Commander in Chief of the Naval Squadron, admiral of the team Donato Marzano, will welcome the crew of the FREMM, to whom he addressed his greetings before the start of the operation during a stop of the ship in Souda. During the stop on the island of Crete, the knowledge of the crew in the field of Maritime Interdiction Operation was tested and improved by carrying out activities at the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Center (NMIOTC), a center of excellence of NATO.
Launched last July 14 from the port of La Spezia, ship Virginio Fasan participated for the first time in this mission, where he took the role of Flag Ship on July 27, taking over from the Spanish Navy.
During the patrolling activity, the Italian frigate intervened last November 19 in the detention of some suspected Somali pirates who had attacked a merchant ship and an oceanic vessel in transit in the Indian Ocean off the Somali coast.
In these five months, ship Virginio Fasan stopped in the ports of Oman, Djibouti, Mayotte, Tanzania, Seychelles and Madagascar, where training activities were carried out for local and humanitarian police forces against local communities.
In detail, there were 29 activities of the Local Maritime Capacity Building (LMCB) in which 266 naval police forces were trained in 7 different countries, with the aim of transmitting the necessary knowledge to operate independently in the fight against illegal activities. , including piracy.
The activities of Civilian and Military Cooperation (CiMiC), carried out in four different African countries, allowed the crew to provide support in meeting the primary needs of the disadvantaged civilian population.
Equally numerous were the exercises and cooperation with other naval forces present, including the marinas of China, South Korea, India, Oman and Seychelles, engaged in the same area in various international missions.
The attention of the whole of Europe in general, that of our country and of the Navy especially in the Horn of Africa, shows how the Mediterranean region can not be considered as a closed system, but an area subject to the effects of political dynamics, social, economic, cultural and religious activities exercised by adjacent areas.
Virginio Fasan (F 591) is the second of the FREMM class frigates (European Multi-Mission Frigates) and the first in ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) configuration; the Unit, built at the Fincantieri plant in Riva Trigoso, was launched on March 31, 2012 and subsequently transported to the Muggiano plant for the completion of the preparation and testing. Ship Virginio Fasan was delivered to the Navy on December 19, 2013. Currently the ship is based in the port of La Spezia and is employed by the 1st Naval Division Command.
With the 2008/251 Council Joint Action of 10 November 2008, the EU has in fact established the first European-led maritime military operation: Operation Atalanta. It is an important element in the European defense policy with the aim of: protecting the ships of the World Food Program, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and other vulnerable units; deter and stop acts of piracy and armed attacks at sea; monitor fishing activities off the coast of Somalia; support the other missions of the European Union and international organizations, working to strengthen maritime security in the region.
Although the constant presence of naval units and aircraft deployed in the area for the surveillance and recognition of illegal suspicious activities to the detriment of maritime trade, together with the adoption by the merchant shipping of appropriate self-protection measures, have led to a reduction in the number of accidents due to the phenomenon of piracy, the same can not be said to have been eradicated as the recent events that occurred in the area demonstrate.
The European Naval Force operates in an area between the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and part of the Indian Ocean, including the Seychelles Islands (a sea area that is comparable in size to the entire Mediterranean Sea).