On 22nd and 23rd March, ten officers from the Djiboutian Navy and four from the Coast Guard participated in a fire-fighting exercise and weapon handling training that were organised jointly by staff from the EU Naval Force and the EU capacity building mission, EUCAP Nestor.
The fire-fighting exercise was held on Saturday morning and enabled the Djiboutian officers to put into practice some of the theoretical training they had received from the EU teams earlier in the day. Fire-fighting is an important skill, particularly in a busy port such as Djibouti, which sees hundreds of ships entering the port each week and where valuable goods are brought in and out every day. These exercises, led by experienced trainers, help them to react effectively to emergency situations without assistance. EUCAP Nestor will also be providing fire-fighting equipment to both agencies in the near future. On the second day, the officers were divided into small groups consisting of seamen, mechanics and gunnery crews, with some being given training in weapon-handling and maintenance.
Commenting on the training given by the European Union teams to the Djiboutian Coast Guard and Navy, Commander Jörn-Arne Niemann, who is the EUCAP Nestor maritime advisor to the Djiboutian Chief of the Navy stated “Port visits by warships from the EU Naval Force provide an excellent opportunity to provide these invaluable exercises. Thanks to the outstanding coordination with my counterparts on board French warship FS Siroco, and the enthusiasm of the local authorities, we regularly organize exercises that fit into the training programme of the Djiboutian Coast Guard and Navy.”
EU Naval Force deters, prevents and represses acts of piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia. EU Naval Force ships protect World Food Programme vessels delivering aid to Somalia and AMISOM shipping. EU Naval Force ships also contribute to the monitoring of fishing activity off the Somali Coast.
EUCAP Nestor is a civilian EU mission under the Common Security and Defence Policy, with headquarters in Djibouti. The mission covers 5 countries in the Horn of Africa and the Western Indian Ocean (Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania and Seychelles) and is mandated to assist these countries to develop a self-sustainable capacity for continued enhancement of the maritime security, including counter-piracy and maritime governance.