EU launches Red Sea mission Eunavfor Aspides

The European Council of EU launched yesterday the maritime security operation Eunavfor Aspides to restore and safeguard freedom of navigation in the Red Sea and the Gulf.

Operation Aspides will ensure an EU naval presence in the area and will provide maritime situational awareness, accompany vessels, and protect them against possible multi-domain attacks at sea.

Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said: “With the launch of Eunavfor Aspides, the European Union is responding swiftly to the necessity to restore maritime security and freedom of navigation in a highly strategic maritime corridor. The operation will play a key role in safeguarding commercial and security interests, for the sake of the EU and the wider international community.”

The operation will be active along the main sea lines of communication in the Baab al-Mandab Strait and the Strait of Hormuz, as well as international waters in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Oman, and the Gulf.

The operation Commander will be commodore Vasilios Griparis, and the Force Commander will be rear admiral Stefano Costantino. The operation headquarters will be based in Larissa, Greece.

Operation Aspides will coordinate closely with the Eunavfor Atalanta to contribute to maritime security in the West Indian Ocean and in the Red Sea.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen announced the decision to launch the EU Naval Force Operation Aspides on X, saying: “Europe will ensure freedom of navigation in the Red Sea, working alongside our international partners.”