The Lithuanian Maritime Protection Team completed their recent deployment on board World Food Programme (WFP) MV Esbjerg that has been delivering aid to the people of Somalia on Sunday 18 March, 2018.
For nearly six months, a Lithuanian Autonomous Vessel Protection Detachment (AVPD), has been contribution to the European Union’s counter-piracy operation off the coast of Somalia. They departed the WFP ship after it arrived safely into Djibouti. During their time on board the highly-trained Lithuanian military troops sailed thousands of nautical miles and importantly helped to protect over 20,000 tonnes of much-needed humanitarian aid for the Somali people.
WFP ship MV Esbjerg safely arrived in Mogadishu on 11th February 2018 under the protection of EU Naval Force’s (EU NAVFOR) Lithuanian AVPD.
By sending troops to participate in EU-led international operations, Lithuania is contributing to the fight against international crises and helping to strengthen the EU’s common security and defence policy.
The team of Lithuanian troops have been on duty at sea since November 2017 and have been providing continuous protection for UN WFP shipping in line with EU NAVFOR’s Op Atalanta mandate.
Lithuania has participated in Operation Atalanta since 2011. Since the protection of WFP has commenced EU NAVFOR has seen the safe delivery of over 1.6M tonnes of food aid and critical supplies to displaced persons in Somalia supporting humanitarian assistance.