A Norwegian Naval Frigate named after the famous Norwegian explorer ‚ÄòFridtjof Nansen‚Äô paid Gibraltar a short visit to refuel before it continued to make its way to Souda Bay, Crete, where it will take part in a change of Command Ceremony on 30 May and assume command over a NATO anti-piracy operation.
The Norwegian Frigate, especially equipped to battle piracy in the Indian Ocean, weighs an impressive 5,500 tonnes and is home to 160 crew and staff on board.
Having left Norway on 16 May, the Norwegian Frigate was granted permission by the United Kingdom to dock in Gibraltar for a short port visit for refuelling purposes.
For Norway, it will be the first time one of their Frigates has been given command of a NATO Operation.
‚ÄúFor me personally, it‚Äôs an honour to take over and I‚Äôm looking forward to doing my best whilst flying the flag for Norway,‚Äù said Commodore Henning Amundsen.
The visiting ship will officially take over the anti-piracy responsibilities of NATO‚Äôs ‚ÄòOcean Shield‚Äô operation from the 6 June to 6 December which will require the vessel to set course to Djibouti, Somalia. Frigate Fridtjof Nansen will be using all its might to prevent pirates who primarily target commercial shipping.
So far, the ongoing operation has proved very successful and NATO and the EU has committed itself to the continuation of the mission until 2014.