Italian FREMM frigate ITS Virginio Fasan concludes counter-piracy mission off Somalia

The Italian Navy’s FREMM frigate ITS Fasan has returned home from a five-deployment to the EUNAVFOR counter-piracy operation Atalanta.

Fasan and her 133 crew departed the mission earlier this month and entered their homeport in La Spezia on December 18.

During her time off the coast of Somalia, the frigate served as mission flagship hosting Italian Navy Rear Admiral Fabio Gregori after he took over command of the EU counter-piracy operation Atalanta from Spanish Navy Rear Admiral Rafael Fernández-Pintado during a ceremony in Djibouti on July 27.

This was the frigate’s first operation Atalanta deployment and the crew got the chance to put their skills to the test on November 18 when they arrested six pirates after a chase.

The pirates had attacked a 52,000 tonne container ship and a fishing vessel within two days launching a number of rocket propelled grenades against the container ship during their attack.

No one was hurt during the two attacks and the six pirates were arrested and their motor whaler and a skiff were seized.

In addition to piracy prevention, ITS Virginio Fasan visited a number of ports in the region, helping build relations and train local maritime authorities. Virginio Fasan made port calls in Oman, Djibouti, Mayotte, Tanzania, Seychelles and Madagascar.

In total, the Italian frigate’s crew trained 266 naval police officers in 7 different countries.