The Italian Navy’s Carlo Bergamini class frigate Antonio Marceglia has departed Italy for the Gulf of Guinea, where it will take part in the Operation Baginia counter-piracy mission.
Antonio Marceglia (F 597) departed La Spezia on 3 September for the four-month mission in the Gulf of Guinea, the Italian Navy said.
The FREMM frigate is tasked with maritime surveillance and the protection of maritime routes as well as naval cooperation to ensure security in the region. It can respond to incidents of piracy with its SH-90 helicopter and embarked special forces and their fast boats.
“During the mission there will be training opportunities with the navies of the countries operating in the area, in order to increase the level of training and interoperability of the respective crews, as well as enhance and promote the peculiarities of the systems embarked on the FREMM class frigates,” the Italian Navy said.
It added that the Gulf of Guinea is one of the world’s piracy hotspots, with attacks against merchant ships in transit in the area becoming increasingly frequent, so much so that they are considered a concrete and constant risk to the free use of the sea. “This phenomenon undermines the freedom of navigation and hinders the international production and commercial chain, to the detriment of the global economy.”
In late August, Italy dispatched the Carlo Bergamini-class frigate Federico Martinengo (F 596) to the Horn of Africa, where it joined the European-led Operation Atalanta anti-piracy mission in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. The vessel will be deployed until December.