8 марта 2010 г.

ESPS NAVARRA (F.85) Gulf of Aden. (March 1, 2010)

From 26th of February to 1st of March, EU NAVFOR Warship ESPS NAVARRA (F.85) successfully completed the escort on WFP Chartered vessel FAIZE SULTANE KWHAJA from Salalah Port (Oman) to Boosaaso, in the northern Somali coast.

The dhow-type vessel chartered by the World Food Program Office in NAIROBI (Kenya) carried 35 tons of humanitarian aid in support of UN famine relief of Somali displaced persons. This is the first time the Indian flagged dhow is escorted by a EU NAVFOR Warship. FAIZE SULTANE KWHAJA is a 558 gross tonnage dhow, a type of cargo vessel which is very common to come across in these waters. The 35 tons of humanitarian aid that safely got to destination was mainly promalein oil enriched in vitamins A and D, a Canadian contribution to the UN World Food Program project in Somalia.

Both ships sailed together across the Gulf of Aden, transiting some areas where the merchant vessel community experienced many attacks from Somali pirates. ESPS NAVARRA maintained a sharp look out at close distance that allowed her to manoeuvre rapidly to protect the vessel, the cargo and the crew. After three days of escort, the WFP vessel reached his destination and entered safely the port of Boosaaso.

SPS Navarra (F85) is the fifth of the six Spanish-built Santa Maria-class frigates, based on the American Oliver Hazard Perry class design, of the Spanish Navy. Laid down on April 15, 1991, and launched on October 23, 1992, Navarra was commissioned in service on May 27, 1994.

On December 9, 2002, Navarra intercepted the unflagged freighter So San several hundred miles southeast of Yemen at the request of the United States government as part of Operation Enduring Freedom - Horn of Africa. The frigate fired across the So San's bow after the freighter ignored hails and attempted to evade the frigate. The freighter's crew was North Korean; 23 containers containing 15 complete Scud ballistic missiles, 15 high-explosive warheads, and 23 nitric acid containers were found on board. Yemen claimed ownership of the shipment and protested the interception and U.S. officials released the vessel after receiving assurances that the missiles would not be transferred to a third party.

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