At the end of February the Luxembourg Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance (MPRA) detachment returns to the EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia Operation Atalanta counter piracy mission.
The Benelux country takes over maritime patrol and reconnaissance duties from the Swedish Coast Guard MPRA unit operating from the Seychelles.
During previous deployments with EU NAVFOR, the two Luxembourg Merlin IIIC maritime patrol aircraft flew 775 missions, totalling 4,500 flying hours. These missions covered counter piracy sea searches, information gathering and vessel escorts.
In their previous deployment the aircraft were involved in over more than 50 maritime incidents; including detection of pirate action groups at sea, guiding EU NAVFOR and other counter piracy forces towards suspicious activity as well as providing imagery of piracy related incidents.
The acting detachment commander said: “We are pleased to have returned to the EU Naval Force mission. All members of the Luxembourg detachment recognise the importance of contributing to the overall counter piracy effort in the Somali Basin.”