FS Guepratte, NRP Alvares Cabral Meet at Sea
Last week, whilst operating off the coast of Somalia, EU Naval Force flagship Portuguese Frigate NRP Álvares Cabral and French frigate FS Guépratte both conducted a Replenishment At Sea (RAS) with RFA Fort Victoria. A RAS enables warships to replenish fuel, food and stores at sea without having to return to port.
Earlier in the month, Commodore Jorge Novo Palma, Force Commander of the EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia Operation Atalanta, had been welcomed on board the French frigate to meet the Commanding Officer and crew of FS Guépratte
During the visit, he was briefed on the French warship’s communication and weapon systems, as well the specific capabilities for counter piracy operation, such as the boarding team and the ETRACO, a robust boarding team boat known as a ‘Rhib’. The Naval Aviation detachment from 36F squadron also presented its helicopter, an indispensible asset in the fight against piracy.
Commodore Palma addressed Guépratte’s crew members and warmly thanked the French servicemen and women for their determination on protecting ships of the World Food Program (WFP) and containing the threat of piracy. He expressed his pride to command the European Naval Force units off the coast of Somalia.
FS Guépratte started her fourth participation with the EU’s counter-piracy Operation Atalanta on 10 May 2013. France permanently deploys at least one warship with the EU Naval Force, and frequently a Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft (MPRA).
Press Release, July 1, 2013; Image: EU Navfor