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OOS ship HDMS ABSALON trains Somaliland Coast Guard

GULF OF ADEN – This week 22 soldiers from the Somaliland Coast Guard boarded a small vessel in a safe and professional manner. The vessel had been hired and assigned for the task, and the successful boarding concluded two days of demanding maritime training executed by the HDMS ABSALON currently in direct support to NATOs Operation Ocean Shield in collaboration with EUCAP Nestor – the European Union’s mission of maritime capacity building in the Horn of Africa and the Western Indian Ocean.

The training focused on force protection, vessel search, visitation and careful evidence compiling. These are all crucial facets of a qualified maritime boarding – a skill specialized to a great extend by the Danish crew through numerous deployments in NATO’s Operation Ocean Shield.

A fine proficiency in English shown by the Somaliland Coast Guard facilitated a dynamic learning environment from day one, and the delegation demonstrated a notable attention to detail alongside an outstanding eagerness to be trained. Throughout the two days of training the Somaliland soldiers were deliberately pushed out of their comfort zone – for instance climbing from a small RHIB to the helicopter deck of ABSALON some ten metres above.

The heightened focus on capacity building is part of ABSALON’s collaborative and dialogue-based approach also exemplified by local leader engagement meetings onboard the Danish ship in recent weeks.

ABSALON Commanding Officer, Per Moll Petersen, said of the two days of Somaliland capacity building: "One of the critical components of Operation Ocean Shield is NATO’s sustained engagements with the regional stakeholders to assist them in enforcing the area’s maritime security and general safety. I remain quite optimistic after these two days of training”.

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