NATO Commander and Russian Counterpart Exchange Counter-Piracy Views in Gulf of Aden

The Com­man­der of the Russ­ian counter-pira­cy mis­sion, Cap­tain First Rank Vladimir A. Kon­dra­tov, vis­it­ed NATO’s counter-pira­cy flag­ship HNLMS Evert­sen today. The aim of the vis­it was to share expe­ri­ences of counter-pira­cy efforts and seek oppor­tu­ni­ties to improve the lev­el of coop­er­a­tion and coor­di­na­tion.

Cap­tain First Rank Vladimir A. Kon­dra­tov, vis­its NATO’s counter-pira­cy flag­ship HNLMS Evert­sen
Source: NATO
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After being wel­comed by the Task Force Com­man­der, Com­modore Ben Bekker­ing, the Russ­ian del­e­ga­tion was briefed about NATO’s counter-pira­cy mis­sion, Oper­a­tion Ocean Shield. Cap­tain Kon­dra­tov, in turn, pro­vid­ed an overview of the Russ­ian counter-pira­cy efforts and cur­rent con­voy pro­ce­dures. Con­sid­er­able time was spent shar­ing views and infor­ma­tion about the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion around the Horn of Africa, includ­ing the most recent hijack­ing attempts and the use of pri­vate secu­ri­ty teams. Both com­man­ders agreed that there was scope to expand the exchange of infor­ma­tion and that they would seek ways to achieve that. In addi­tion, they agreed to inves­ti­gate pos­si­bil­i­ties for counter-pira­cy relat­ed exer­cis­es.

The vis­it was con­clud­ed with a tour through the flag­ship of CTF 508, HNLMS Evert­sen. Dur­ing this tour the Russ­ian del­e­ga­tion talked with the Enhanced Board­ing Team and the advanced resus­ci­ta­tion med­ical team.

“Counter-pira­cy is tru­ly a com­bined effort of the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty”, stat­ed Cdre Bekker­ing after the vis­it.

“Like NATO’s navies, the Russ­ian navy has been present in the waters off Soma­lia ever since pira­cy became a scourge to the mer­chant ship­ping there. And ever since that moment, NATO’s task force com­man­ders have been meet­ing with their Russ­ian coun­ter­parts. This has result­ed in increased coor­di­na­tion and coop­er­a­tion. Hav­ing met Cap­tain Kon­dra­tov and hav­ing been able to share thoughts, I am con­vinced we now know when and where to find each oth­er when need­ed, to the ben­e­fit of the over­all counter-pira­cy effort”.

Back­ground Infor­ma­tion:

NATO has con­tributed to the inter­na­tion­al counter pira­cy effort off the Horn of Africa since Decem­ber 2008. The mis­sion has expand­ed from escort­ing UN and World Food Pro­gramme Ship­ping under Oper­a­tion Allied Provider and pro­tect­ing mer­chant traf­fic in the Gulf of Aden under Oper­a­tion Allied Pro­tec­tor. In addi­tion to these activ­i­ties and as part of the lat­est mis­sion, Oper­a­tion Ocean Shield, NATO is work­ing with oth­er inter­na­tion­al bod­ies to help devel­op capac­i­ty of coun­tries in the region to tack­le pira­cy on their own.

Stand­ing NATO Mar­itime Group 1 is per­ma­nent­ly assigned to NATO. It is a mul­ti-nation­al Naval Group that pro­vides the NATO Alliance with the abil­i­ty to quick­ly respond to cri­sis sit­u­a­tions any­where in the world. A capa­ble, stand-alone task group and one of four stand­ing mar­itime ele­ments that form a flex­i­ble core around which NATO can build a larg­er force to meet a wide range of mis­sions that will include non-com­bat­ant evac­u­a­tions, con­se­quence man­age­ment, counter ter­ror­ism, cri­sis response, embar­go oper­a­tions, etc.

NATO Allies agreed on 19 March 2012 to extend Oper­a­tion Ocean Shield for a fur­ther two years until the end of 2014.

Allied Com­mand Oper­a­tions