French frigate bolsters Operation Atalanta off the Horn of Africa

French frigate La Fayette joined the EU Naval Forces’ counter-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean on September 28.

Two days later, Italian frigate, ITS Euro said goodbye to the mission after 190 days of operations.

In addition to carrying out a number of counter-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean, ITS Euro also provided support to EU sister mission, EUCAP Nestor, by providing maritime training to regional states.

FS La Fayette, the lead ship in the class, is the second French vessel to be named after the 18th century General Marquis de Lafayette.

She was commissioned into the French Navy in 1996 and will conduct counter-piracy operations for the third time as part of Atalanta, having previously deployed in 2010 and 2012.

Operation Atalanta warships have been deployed in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean since December 2008 as part of the European Union’s commitment to protect World Food Programme (WFP) vessels from pirate attacks.