EU | “ASPIDES” operation launches
Defence Redefined
Published on 20/02/2024 at 09:47

The Cabinet of the European Union decided yesterday to launch the “ASPIDES” operation.

The objective of this defensive maritime security operation is to restore and ensure freedom of navigation in the Red Sea and the Gulf.

Operation “Aspides” will ensure the EU’s naval presence in the region, where several Houthi attacks have targeted international merchant ships since October 2023. In close cooperation with like-minded international partners, the operation will contribute to ensuring maritime security and freedom of navigation.

As part of its defence mandate, the operation will provide maritime situational awareness, escort vessels, and protect them from potential multi-domain attacks at sea.

With the launch of EUNAVFOR ASPIDES, the European Union is responding quickly to the need to restore maritime security and freedom of navigation in a highly strategic sea corridor. The operation will play a key role in safeguarding trade and security interests for the sake of the EU and the wider international community, EU High Representative, Josep Borrell, points out.

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

The Operational Commander will be Commodore Vasilios Gryparis and the Force Commander will be Vice-Admiral Stefano Constantino. The operational headquarters will be based in Larissa, Greece.

Operation “Aspides” will coordinate closely with Operation “Atalanta” to contribute so as to maritime security in the Western Indian Ocean and Red Sea, as well as with like-minded partners who contribute to maritime security in its area of ​​operation.

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