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Ukraine Joins NATO Anti-Piracy Mission Off Somalia

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Ukrainian Navy frigate Hetman Sagaiydachniy has joined NATO's Operation Ocean Shield, an counter-piracy mission being conducted off the Horn of Africa since 2009, marking the first time a partner nation has contributed to the western military alliance's counter-piracy effort.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen welcomed the contribution from Ukraine, saying: "This is the first time any partner nation has joined this important mission.

"I warmly welcome Ukraine's commitment. By working together, NATO and our partners are making a real contribution to dealing with today's security threats, including outside the Euro-Atlantic area, he added.

For the next three months the Ukrainian frigate will be under the command of Commodore Henning Amundsen of the Norwegian Navy, Commander of NATO's Ocean Shield. Amundsen operates from the Alliance's flagship, the Norwegian frigate FRIDTJOF NANSEN.

Ocean Shield also includes the HDMS ESBEN SNARE of the Royal Danish Navy and a US Navy Frigate the USS DE WERT. All four ships are operating together off the Horn of Africa, deterring acts of piracy.

"We are very pleased Ukraine is demonstrating its firm commitment to international maritime security. We greatly welcome Ukraine's dedicated interest to interoperability with NATO," said NATO Supreme Allied Commander (SACEUR) General Phillip Breedlove.


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