From the 18th to 21st June 2012, EU Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) frigates Guépratte and Reina Sofia collaborated with USS Taylor, engaged in TF 508 (NATO) to escort World Food Programme chartered ship MV Tupi Maiden 3.
The escort of WFP ship started in Salalah (Oman) and was performed by EUNAVFOR French frigate Guépratte up to the east point of entry into the IRTC (Internationally Recognized Transit Corridor in the Gulf of Aden).
Once in the IRTC, US frigate USS Taylor, engaged in NATO operation Ocean Shield, took over the escort before she eventually handed it over again to EUNAVFOR, but this time under the protection of the Spanish frigate Reina Sofia. MV Tupi Maiden eventually arrived safely in Djibouti on 21st June. On the occasion of a visit on board the EUNAVFOR flag ship by the new Dutch Commander of Task Force 508, EUNAVFOR Force Commander Rear Admiral Dupuis and his counterpart had discussed in particular the possibility of sharing escorts when the situation makes it possible and necessary.
Protecting WFP ships is one of the priority tasks of EUNAVFOR. Since the beginning of the operation, nearly 1 million tons of food have been protected and provided to Somali people under the protection of EUNAVFOR ships.
Source: World Maritime News Staff, June 29, 2012; Image: Eunavfor