The Seychelles Coast Guard was recently joined by forces from EUCAP Nestor and the European Naval Force for a joint training exercise on April 26th.
Taking place in the Seychelles, the exercise simulated an interdiction of a pirate skiff by joint efforts from the Seychelles Coast Guard and assets from EU NAVFOR. The two vessels that cooperated were the Seychelles’ Topaz and the French vessel LHD Tonnerre.
The exercise was conducted in hopes of improving cooperation and coordination between local Coast Guard and vessels from the EU NAVFOR, which have been stationed in the region since 2009. The purpose was also to help further develop the operational capacity of local nations, as EU NAVFOR will not be in the Indian Ocean forever.
EUCAP Nestor, a separate task-force aimed at promoting maritime security capacity building for African nations, contributed to the exercise as well. Agents from this organization were aboard the Topaz to advise and train on the proper ways to handle the detention of pirates and the collection of evidence from the captured skiff.
There were some notable observers of the exercise: Admiral Launay and Lieutenant Colonel George Adeline of EU NAVFOR were on board to observe the exercise, as well as many other officers associated with the task-force.
The Tonnerre is docked in the Seychelles for a short period, and will depart shortly after the training exercise is over. This marks the first exercise carries out by the Coast Guard of the Seychelles and EU NAVFOR and EUCAP Nestor.
While the Tonnerre will soon move on, advisors from EUCAP Nestor remain in the Seychelles to continue capacity-building efforts with the Air Force, Police and Judicial systems, all of whom play an important role in the counter-piracy apparatus.