Combined Counter-Piracy Exercise Performed
The exercise involved a mock interception of a suspected pirate skiff in Seychelles waters by the combined efforts of EU NAVFOR and the Seychelles Coast Guard. The Coast Guard vessel, Topaz, and a helicopter from French Navy ship, LHD Tonnerre, operating under EU NAVFOR flag, jointly intervened against a suspected pirate skiff.
The purpose of the exercise was to enhance coordination and cooperation between the Seychelles Coast Guard and EU NAVFOR as well as further develop the Coast Guard in procedures for evidence handling.
“This exercise was a perfect example of our partnership with the Seychelles and EU NAVFOR,” said Admiral Launay. “I am delighted by the close and seamless coordination.”
“We welcome the assistance from our friends from the EU. This helps us to improve our capacity to fight piracy and ensure the maritime security of the Seychelles,” said the Commanding Officer of the Seychelles Coast Guard, Lt Col George Adeline.
Experts from EUCAP Nestor were on the Topaz to provide advice on the handling of the suspected pirates and evidence from the skiff. EUCAP Nestor is developing a handbook together with the Seychelles Coast Guard on procedures for evidence handling.
A number of dignitaries, in addition to Admiral Launay and Lt Col Adeline, were on board the Topaz to observe the exercise: the Deputy Operational Commander of EU NAVFOR, Rear Admiral Eric Dupont, the Commanding Officer of the Tonnerre, Captain Jean-Francois Quérat, the Ambassador of France, HE Geneviève Iancu, and the British High Commissioner, HE Lindsay Skoll.
The Tonnerre, which has been in the Seychelles since Monday, is leaving tomorrow, Saturday, to continue its voyage.
This was the first exercise carried out jointly between EU NAVFOR, EUCAP Nestor and the Seychelles Coast Guard.
There are currently four EUCAP Nestor experts in the Seychelles working on building the capacities of the Seychelles Coast Guard, Seychelles Air Force, Police, and Judiciary to conduct maritime security operations in particular counter-piracy.