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NATO Active In Somalia Patrol

  • April 26th, 2009
  • Posted by EUEditor

nato-ships-somalia.jpgAmid the flare-up of pirate activity and counter-measures off Somalia, NATO has begun sending messages about the effectiveness of coordinated naval operations.

The latest communiqué from the North Atlantic alliance, at Brussels, details an action against a pirate skiff last week (18.4.09).

An attempt to board a Norwegian tanker was thwarted by the intervention of four warships, forming part of a group from different national navies, operating under NATO auspices.

The communiqué states:

nato-somalia-2.jpg“A NATO led coordinated operations by ships and helicopters of different  Task Forces resulted in the boarding of a confirmed pirate vessel, the disruption of their ability to conduct attacks and the seizure and disposal of equipment to carry out their attacks.”

nato-somali-helicopter.jpgIn the end the pirates were caught but then let go, “according to national regulations”.

That outcome highlights a problem with finding a common legal jurisdiction for handling detainees, though increasing numbers are being sent to Kenya under an agreement made with the European Union and other states.

NATO since 1990 has developed into a security organisation capable of operating beyond the Atlantic theatre; its largest commitment in Afghanistan.

Ships involved in the action off the coast of Somalia:

  • NRP Cortge Real (Portugese Navy, flagship of Standing NATO Maritime Group 1)
  • HMCS Winnipeg (Canada)
  • HM Auxiliary Wave Knight (United Kingdom)
  • USS Halyburton (America)



NATO, Brussels, (Home), “NATO task force foils hostile pirates”, 20.4.09., (26.4.09).

Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1),, (26.4.09)


Patrol off Somalia, NATO