On Sunday 11 November 2012, EU Naval Force warship, ROS Regele Ferdinand,entered the port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, following a busy three weeks at sea.
The purpose of the Romanian frigate's port visit was threefold: to conduct routine maintenance on the ship's equipment, to provide training to Tanzanian sailors and to enhance strong diplomatic ties in the region. Whilst in port three Romanian journalists, embarked the ship and they will remain on board for the remainder of her time with EU NAVFOR. The journalists will get to spend time with the ship's crew to find out what life is like on board a warship and to hear about the important counter piracy mission the ship is conducting.
The EU NAVFOR warship left the Port of Victoria in the Seychelles on the 24 October and spent 18 days at sea. During this time she conducted a wide range of tasks within Operation Atalanta, including intelligence gathering within the area of operations. She has also conducted two "friendly approaches" of ships in the area, carried out a Replenishment at Sea (RAS) with the British auxiliary tanker, RFA Wave Ruler - the thirtieth RAS conducted by the warship since entering service with the Romanian Naval Forces in 2004, and escorted vulnerable vessels carrying humanitarian aid.
The crew also celebrated Romanian Armed Forces Day whilst in the Indian Ocean. Perhaps the most important task performed during this period, was the assistance given to a merchant vessel after it suffered technical problems which left it dead-in-the-water, close to a reef in an area with strong ocean currents. Providing aid at sea is not new to the ROS Regele Ferdinand - this is the third such mission carried out by the warship in the last two years. The respect for seafarers and a desire to provide aid to ships in distress are part of what the crew call "Spirit Ferdinand"; and is in keeping with the importance Operation Atalanta places on Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).
The ROS Regele Ferdinand's participation in Operation Atalanta continues to demonstrate that the Romanian Naval Forces are well-trained, well-prepared and highly committed. With a strong team spirit and work ethic, the ship is making an active contribution to Romania's security policy and the objectives of the National Security Strategy.