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European Union enhances maritime awareness of Seychelles Air Force

Members of the Seychelles Air Force in front of one of their aircraft.On 2 April, a ceremony was held at the Seychelles Air Force base to mark the donation by EUCAP Nestor of flight planning and imagery analysis software and the successful completion of a course for image intelligence officers on how to use the software.

The computer software and training will enhance the Air Force’s capacity to plan flights and to ensure maritime domain awareness, EUCAP Nestor said. It will allow the Air Force to analyse images that it captures with aircraft sensors such as radars, video cameras, and infrared cameras. This can be essential in, for instance, providing admissible evidence to prosecute piracy cases.

“I am very grateful to EUCAP Nestor for this support,” said the Commanding Officer of the Air Force, Major Michael Pouponneau. “It is not only essential to have radars and other sensors on our aircrafts that take images. We must also have proper tools to analyse the images.”

A Maritime Air Surveillance Expert from EUCAP Nestor and experts from the Luxembourg maritime reconnaissance aircraft team operating under the European Union Naval Force (EU Navfor) flag delivered the training on imagery intelligence and using the software. Five SAF trainees took part in the training.

“This software and training will contribute to strengthening the Seychelles Air Force capacity in the maritime awareness domain,” said the EUCAP Nestor Head of Office in the Seychelles, Fredrik Wesslau. “The Seychelles, given its vast exclusive economic zone, needs a strong capacity to carry out maritime surveillance as well as to be able to do proper analysis.”

EUCAP Nestor is a civilian EU mission, under the Common Security and Defence Policy, that assists host countries in the Horn of Africa and Western Indian Ocean region to develop a self-sustainable capacity for enhancement of the maritime security, including counter-piracy and maritime governance.

The small Seychelles Air Force is comprised mostly of transport aircraft, including a BN-2 Islander, a DHC-6 Twin Otter, two Y-12Es, a Cessna 152, Cessna Caravan, Do 228MP and two SA 316B Chetak helicopters.

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