Nato has ended the counter-piracy mission, Operation Ocean Shield, in the Indian Ocean, with the final flight successfully completed by its last surveillance aircraft.
The Challenger CL-604 aircraft was flown by the Royal Danish Air Force detachment comprising of 20 airforce officers and enlisted service members.
The Danish detachment, which completed 17 sorties and logged nearly 90 flight hours during their month-long tour, was the last of Nato forces assigned to the counter-piracy mission in the Indian Ocean.
In total, the Danish Challenger aircraft detachments completed more than 200 flights, equivalent to more than 1,100 hours of patrolling, along the Somali coastline and in the Indian Ocean since 2011.
Detachment commander major Anders Peter Kyed said: “The work done to deter attacks and to provide surveillance by the Danish detachments all these years is admirable and has helped to increase the safety of the seafarers in this region.”
Operation Ocean Shield is part of Nato’s ongoing efforts since 2009 to deter and disrupt pirate attacks in the Gulf of Aden and the Horn of Africa, while protecting vessels and enhancing security in the region.
The mission, which is a part of internationally collaborated efforts undertaken by the European Union, Nato, the US and other independent nations, has seen a significant drop in piracy activities in the region.
In the last two years, piracy activities in this area have decreased from multiple incidents each month to zero.
Image: The Royal Danish Air Force’s Challenger CL-604 aircraft prepares to take off. Photo: courtesy of MARCOM.