The crew from Romanian frigate ROS Regele Ferdinand are proud to be sailing home to their base port of Constanta after completing Romania's first counter piracy operation as part of the EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia, Operation Atalanta.
ROS Regele Ferdinand joined EU NAVFOR at the beginning of October and after sailing from Djibouti on 3 October, the warship commenced counter-piracy patrols in the internationally recommended transit corridor (IRTC) in the Gulf of Aden. She also escorted a World Food Programme (WFP) ship along the Somali Coast to ensure much-needed food arrived safely in to Somalia to help feed her people.
During her time with EU NAVFOR, the warship also conducted seven 'friendly approach' missions. Friendly approaches are conducted to gather intelligence by speaking with fishing communities and trading vessels in the area of operations, and to help make masters and crews aware of Best Management Practices (BMP) for protection against pirates in the region.
To enable Regele Ferdinand to remain on patrol for a number of weeks, she also carried out a number of replenishments at sea (RAS) with supply ships and it was during one of these replenishments that the warship crossed the Equator, thus operating in the Southern Hemisphere for the very first time.
At the end of the mission, Rear Admiral Enrico Credendino, EU NAVFOR's Force Commander thanked the Commanding Officer of Regele Ferdinand, Commander Mihai Panait and his crew for their outstanding achievements
âÂ€Â?As you leave Atalanta Operation I would like to express my congratulations for a job very well done in the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin. In every tactical situation you have demonstrated your professionalism, motivation and commitment. The contribution you have brought to the fight against piracy in this region, as demonstrated by the disruption of a skiff in central Somali Basin on 22 November, has been appreciated by all involved in this common endeavour. You have efficiently patrolled in the IRTC and conducted a significant number of friendly approaches, always proving to be vigilant and flexible in every situation. With your cooperative spirit and can-do attitude, you have delivered everything asked of you in a thoroughly proficient and effective manner. I see you all as fine ambassadors for the Romanian Navy. Let me also thank you again for the warm welcome you gave me when I visited you on board recently - it was a pleasure to meet you. Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to pass to you all, on behalf of EU NAVFOR, my best wishes for your safe return home for a very deserved rest. Fair winds and following seas."
As the ship departed the Gulf of Aden for home, they passed on their own message "We want to thank the European Union and Romanian Naval Forces for the opportunity to be part of this important operation. Thank you EU NAVFOR Atalanta 2012, we accomplished our mission - we are going home now!"