After navigating the Suez Canal and Bab-el-Mandeb strait, French frigate FS Courbet has joined EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia - Operation Atalanta. The French frigate replaces the FS Surcouf, who has been operating within the EU counter-piracy operation since last December. On Monday 18 February 2013, the French frigate FS Courbet met her sister ship, FS Surcouf, in Djibouti in order to take her place within EU NAVFOR. On 3 February, FS Courbet departed from her home base in Toulon, France, with a Panther helicopter from the French Naval Aviation 36F Flottille and a Vessel Protection Detachment (VPD) from Estonia on board. She is now proud to be fully integrated in Operation Atalanta.
Whilst with EU NAVFOR, the FS Courbet will work together with the other EU NAVFOR ships already deployed in the region, as well as the ships from other counter-piracy task forces. During this time the FS Courbet will be tasked with the protection to World Food Programme (WFP) and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) shipping, providing protection to vulnerable shipping on a case-by-case basis, monitoring fishing activities off the Somali coast, and the deterrence, prevention and repression of acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea.