A group of 22 AFM soldiers, including three officers, this morning left Grand Harbour for Somalia on the Dutch naval vessel HMLMS De Zeven Provincien.Before leaving they shared lunch with their families on board the ship.
AFM Commander Jeffrey Curmi and Dutch Ambassador Rita Dulci Rahman spoke to the soldiers individually and wished them luck on their mission.
Brig. Curmi thanked the soldiers for volunteering to take part in such an important mission and expressed his belief they would honour not only themselves but also their country. He also thanked their families for their sacrifice.
Brigadier Curmi said the mission followed months of professional training in Malta and abroad with the Dutch forces
Dr Dulci Rahman said this was further proof of the commitment of Malta and the Netherlands to combat piracy.
This is the fourth time that the AFM is participating with troops as part of EU NAVFOR Atalanta off the coast of Somalia.
Defence matters director Joanne Mercieca and Dr Dulci Rahma signed a memorandum of understanding at the AFM‚Äôs Maritime Squadron.