Seven ships, from six NATO navies, transited the , on their way to conduct both anti-piracy duties and visit NATO Partner nations in the Gulf region.
In response to a UN request, NATO defense ministers last week authorized NATO naval vessels to help protect World Food Program ships carrying desperately needed supplies to conflict-ridden . This presence will also help to deter acts of piracy that continue to threaten the region.
Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) already was scheduled to conduct a series of Gulf port visits and will take on the anti-piracy role off the coast of . This presence will also help to deter acts of piracy that continue to threaten the region.
Given the very short-notice, details of how the group will conduct the anti-piracy mission and also carry out port visits are still being finalized.
SNMG2 is scheduled to visit Partners of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative in , , and the .
SNMG2 currently comprises ships from , , , , and . Command of SNMG2 is assumed on rotation by contributing nations; the current commander is Rear Admiral Giovanni Gumiero, Italian Navy.
As NATO's anti-piracy effort is formalized, the will continue to coordinate its assistance with the World Food Program, the European Union and the US-led Operation Enduring Freedom who are all involved in this humanitarian and security effort.