Danish ship HDMS ABSALON joins NATO’s Counter-Piracy Operation OCEAN SHIELD, visits Jordan
AQABA, Jordan – This week HDMS ABSALON (Denmark) has joined NATO's counter-piracy Operation OCEAN SHIELD and is en route to East Africa, following a port visit to Aqaba, Jordan.
Within the framework of the port visit to the Mediterranean Dialogue partner nation, NATO's Allied Maritime Command Chief of Staff, Rear Admiral Giorgio Lazio, met with military leaders, including Jordan's Brigadier General Qassem Fadeel Tanashat, Commander of the Royal Jordanian Naval Force.
The deployment of HDMS ABSALON builds upon previous deployments in maintaining relationships that are vital to the successes of the counter-piracy operation. HDMS ABSALON's crew remain in support of Operation OCEAN SHIELD for the next few months, during which time they will work to enhance Somali and partner nation capacities to confront their maritime security challenges and eliminate the threat of piracy in the region.
Also supporting Operation OCEAN SHIELD is the Colombian Navy frigate 7 DE AGOSTO, currently operating off the coast of Somalia. This marks the first time the Colombian Navy has supported a NATO operation, though the ship remains under its national operational control. This demonstrates the willingness of both Allied and partner nations in helping to deter and disrupt piracy in the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin.
Due in part to the combined efforts of counter-piracy task forces, the merchant shipping community, and independent deployers, no successful piracy attacks have been carried out off Somalia since May 2012, and no attacks have been attempted since January 2014.
"But the threat of piracy remains real," said Rear Admiral Lazio, "and requires vigilance on the part of NATO and the international maritime community to ensure it does not resurge."