Since January 23, a French Navy Atlantique 2 (ATL 2) maritime patrol aircraft has been deployed to Air Base 188 in Djibouti, in support of the European Union’s ATALANTE counter-piracy mission off the coast of Somalia.
Placed under European operational control and integrated into Task Force 465, the ATL2 is a French aircraft perfectly integrated into this European operation with a multinational vocation. This choice marks France’s strong desire to contribute fully to the defense of EU interests in a strategic area.
Alongside Spain, Italy and Portugal, the ATL2 detachment searches for all types of illicit activities related to piracy off Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden. The ATL 2 is engaged against illegal trafficking in the Internationally Recommended T raffic Corridor , a very busy commercial shipping corridor between Somalia and Yemen at the entrance to the strategic Bab el Mandeb strait. Finally, he ensures the application of the right security measures by the commercial vessels encountered so as not to be approached by belligerents.
Since 2008, the French Forces stationed in Djibouti (FFDJ) have supported the ATALANTE operation daily and without interruption. The FFDJ are a point of support for the aeronautical and naval resources engaged in the fight against piracy in the Gulf of Aden.