At the time of the upsurge of piracy in Somalia, there were also Greek forces in the area, operating against armed groups.

Greece took command of operation “Atalanta” during the period of December 2008 – April 2009, in which the frigate “Hydra” and the frigate “Psara” participated.

On March 29 2009, the frigate “Psara”, in cooperation with a helicopter of a Spanish frigate, immobilized and disarmed a vessel of Somali pirates, who attempted to seize a German naval tanker.

The attempted hijacking was noticed by the ship’s crew and the command of Operation Atlanta was informed.

The Greek commander immediately ordered the frigate “Psara” to sail to the area where the attempted piracy was taking place, while a similar order was given to the helicopter of the Spanish frigate.

This Hellenic Navy Special Forces Commander in the video footage talks about the arrest of five pirates on 29 March 2009 after they tried to attack the German naval tanker Spessart (video).

Pirate activity off the coast of Somalia has become a scourge and led the EU to the decision to launch Operation Atlanta, the first naval operation conducted under the European defence and security policy.

The European Union developed action with the mission EU NAVFOR Somalia – Operation Atalanta, which is the EU Maritime Security operation in the Western Indian Ocean and Red Sea.

According to sources, the arrest of pirates is not an easy task, because they usually pretend to be fishermen and when they perceive a warship approaching them for the purpose of control, they throw their weapons into the sea.

Operation Atalanta celebrated yesterday the 15th anniversary of its inception with a ceremony at the Rota Naval Base.

Since its inception in 2008, the operation has been an example of international cooperation, involving a total of 20 EU and non-EU countries.

During these 15 years, Atalanta has faced various challenges, constantly adapting to the evolving threats in the region.

Throughout this time, Operation Atalanta has protected more than 2000 World Food Programme vessels with a total of 3,200,000 tonnes of food and other aid distributed.

In addition, 16 tonnes of narcotics have been seized and significant progress has been made against piracy in the area of operations.

The special operation maritime task unit conducted a Local Maritime Capacity Building Activity with a delegation of the Somali Police Force Department of the Coast Guard, as EU NAVFOR said in a statement.