Italian Navy frigate patrolling Gulf of Guinea

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The Italian Navy frigate Luigi Rizzo is patrolling the Gulf of Guinea on behalf of the European Union, with its main mission to prevent piracy and other maritime crimes.

The Italian Ministry of Defence earlier this week said this falls under the anti-piracy operation Gabinia. The Luigi Rizzo departed Civitavecchia on 24 February and after a stopover in the port of Dakar (Senegal) last week has been engaged in maritime patrols. The frigate will also work with regional navies to improve maritime security in the region.

This is the Luigi Rizzo’s third deployment to the Gulf of Guinea. The frigate will patrol the area until June.

Operation Gabinia began in February 2020, and sees the use of sea and air patrols in the Gulf of Guinea to ensure freedom of navigation.

Luigi Rizzo embarks an NH90 naval helicopter. The Carlo Bergamini-class FREMM frigate’s arrival in the Gulf of Guinea follows the recent departure of the Danish frigate Esbern Snare. The Danish vessel was due to remain in the Gulf of Guinea from November 2021 to March 2022 but returned home in February due to the Ukraine conflict.