On the 16 October 2012, the Spanish warship ESPS Relampago, operating as part of the EU Naval Force, hosted a team from the Djiboutian Coastguard. The aim of the visit was to train the coastguards in fire fighting and ship damage control techniques.
The team of 10 were welcomed on board ESPS Relampago by the Commanding Officer, Lt Cdr Antonio González del Tánago, followed by a short tour of the vessel, in order to demonstrate the new fire fighting technologies present on a modern warship. The Djiboutian team were then taught and given the opportunity to practice some of the different fire fighting techniques used by the Spanish crew.
The Republic of Djibouti is an important regional player in the fight against piracy and therefore trainings and exercises with the coast guard and navy are carried out frequently by EU NAVFOR ships during port visits. This local maritime capability building also aims to improve local cooperation and information exchange between the EU and the regional countries in the fight against piracy.
Moreover, training such as this provide the basis for further cooperation with regional actors under the EUCAP Nestor mission, the aim of which is to build up the capacity of countries in the region to control the waters around the Gulf of Aden and off the Horn of Africa, thus preventing pirates the freedom of movement they require.
EUCAP Nestor is a civilian mission conducted under the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and augmented with military expertise. The objectives of EUCAP Nestor are to:
Strengthen the Rule of Law sector in Somalia, with an initial focus on the regions of Puntland and Somaliland. In particular, the mission will support the development of a coastal police force and the judiciary.
Strengthen the sea going maritime capacity of Djibouti, Kenya and the Seychelles.