During September EU NAVFOR’s Serbian Marines have been embarked on the World Food Programme (WFP) MV Esbjerg, to protect it from pirate attack as it sails along the Somali coast.

This highly capable team is known as an Autonomous Vessel Protection Detachment (AVPD) by EU NAVFOR. They are on a current deployment to Operation Atalanta protecting vital food aid between the ports of Djibouti, Mogadishu, and Mombasa.  During their deployment, the Serbian marines are helping to deliver over 10,000 tonnes of food relief to the people of Somalia aboard WFP MV Esbjerg.

Protecting vulnerable vessels in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden is one of Operation Atalanta’s key tasks. As a counter-piracy operation, Atalanta is mandated to not only provide protection to vessels, but to also deter and disrupt piracy in the seas off the Somali coast. AVPD’s provide the Force Commander with greater flexibility when protecting assets, in addition to the capabilities of EU NAVFOR Maritime Patrol Aircraft and Naval Warships.