>Now It Is Official: SNMG-2 Is Heading To Somalia

>As I have reported 8 days ago, NATO is sending SNMG-2 to Gulf of Aden. The task force will replace SNMG-1.

The whole transcript of NATO’s Spokesman James Appathurai’s statement can be read here. It has also very valuable information about recent operations in Afghanistan.

I have extracted what I think is important:

The North Atlantic Council has decided to extend NATO’s anti-piracy mission through 2012. This is based on the assessment that this mission is making a demonstrable contribution to increase safety for shipping and reduces success rates for pirates. While the number of attacks in 2009 was up over the number of attacks in 2008, the success rate of those attacks was down by 40 percent. And in general the shipping lane… it’s called the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor… a very… just rolls off your tongue, in which international shipping goes and to which NATO and other bodies and other contributors provide ships, is making a clear difference for shipping companies. They are also taking onboard now the recommendations that they should take for improving the security of their ships.

So all this to say, North Atlantic Council has received its assessment. It agrees that this is making a demonstrable contribution to the anti-piracy fight in the Gulf of Aden and therefore has extended the mission until 2012. The Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 will be relieved by Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 on Friday, day after tomorrow. There’ll be five ships, one U.K., one U.S., one Italian, one Turkish and one Greek.

The order of battle for SNMG-2 as 11 March 2010 is as follows:

F 87 HMS Chatam from Royal Navy
F 451 HS Limnos from Greek Navy,
F 573 ITS Scirocco from Italian Navy
F 493 TCG Gelibolu from Turkish Navy
DDG 67 USS Cole from USN

SNMG-2 will stay in the region for 6 months.

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