An EU naval mission to deter pirate attacks on aid shipments to Somalia is likely to succeed, the head of the German Navy forecast.
Pirates recently hijacked an oil tanker off Somalia
A Germany Navy frigate, the Karlsruhe, is set to leave the German base in Djibouti on Tuesday, Dec. 23, to join the EU anti-piracy mission Operation Atalanta.
Vice-Admiral Hans-Joachim Stricker and German Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung visited the crew Monday, Dec 22.
"I am confident we can fulfil the requirements"
Some officers are specially trained to cope with piracy
"When I look at the EU operational plan to deploy ships and aircraft, I am confident we can fulfil the requirements," Stricker said in his annual report.
It was distributed by publicists at the naval base in Gluecksburg on Germany's Baltic coast.
Stricker said Germany had a fundamental interest in "safe sea lanes to secure free trade on international markets."
Mission for aid, anti-piracy
Operation Atalanta is primarily aimed at guarding boats carrying aid to Somali ports and its presence is also expected to deter pirate attacks on other sea traffic through the Gulf of Aden.
Some 80 boats and ships were deployed around the world for a total of 8,700 days in 2008.
Among the largest of those deployments was Operation Enduring Freedom, at the Horn of Africa, and Operation Active Endevour in the Mediterranean. The German Navy is responsible for some 14 percent of foreign deployments of German armed forces.