HMS Northumberland completes first EU naval mission

The Royal Navy’s frigate HMS Northumberland has successfully completed the European Union’s (EU) first World Food Program (WFP) tasking today by safely escorting the MV Semlow, from Mombassa in Kenya to the Somali port of Mogadishu. The WFP ship, which has fallen victim to piracy in the past, delivered enough food to feed more than 50,000 Somalis for a month, many of whom have become displaced as a result of the country’s political and military unrest.HMS Northumberland, who joined the EU Anti Piracy Operation ATALANTA last weekend, left Mombasa in company with MV Semlow last Sunday morning to escort her the 500 nautical miles, along the Somali coastline where piracy attacks are a regular occurrence.On arrival the ship’s Commanding Officer, Commander Martin Simpson, stated ‘It has been a huge privilege to carry out a mission that bring so much tangible relief and benefit to the people of Somalia. The food that the MV Semlow carries is vital and we are pleased it has arrived safely at its destination. Asked whether he was concerned about being confronted by heavily armed pirates he stated ‘Dealing with piracy is something that Northumberland has been actively involved in for some months, and the ship’s company are ready for any eventuality. There can be no better or more worthwhile task than supporting the safe and timely delivery of food aid to this war-torn and neglected country’.

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