November 21, 2008 / 2:43 PM / 11 years ago

FACTBOX: Foreign ships off Somalia

(Reuters) - At least 14 foreign warships are in the Gulf of Aden and near Somalia to try to foil pirate attacks. Below are details of some of them:

COMBINED TASK FORCE 150 - (8 ships)

* Includes U.S. ships and others from the coalition set up during the war in Afghanistan. CTF 150 has facilities in Djibouti and currently focuses on fighting piracy. Contributors also include Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany and Pakistan. Command is currently held by Danish Royal Navy Commodore Per Bigum Christensen.

NATO - (4 ships)

* Operation Allied Provider began operations in late October, replacing earlier naval escort missions by some NATO members to ensure food aid reaches Somalia. The vessels that make up the force are: ITS Durand de la Penne (flagship, Italy) HS Themistokles (Greece), TCG Gokova (Turkey), HMS Cumberland (Britain).

INDIA - (1 ship)

* India deployed INS Tabar in October to escort Indian ships after complaints by shipping firms of delays and financial losses as a result of piracy. Indian newspapers have said the navy plans to deploy up to four warships.

RUSSIA - (1 ship)

* Russia’s navy sent a Baltic Fleet frigate, the Neustrashimy (Fearless), to the Gulf of Aden in September to combat pirates. Russian news agencies quoted Navy spokesman Igor Dygalo as saying Moscow could send more ships to the area.

EUROPEAN UNION - (Not yet operational)

* The EU has agreed to deploy an air and naval force off Somalia from December, initially for one year. Ten EU nations have said they will contribute to “Operation Atlanta” and it is expected to involve four to six ships at any time as well as aircraft. British Vice-Admiral Philip Jones will head the operation. The headquarters is Northwood in England.


* Malaysia has been set to pull its remaining warship out of the area for cost reasons, but South Korea is expected to add warships to the international contingent. Japan is also considering sending naval vessels.

Sources: Reuters, U.S. Fifth Fleet, NATO, Royal Navy

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