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The German navy’s frigate Schleswig-Holstein left the North Sea port of Wilhelmshaven yesterday to join the EU’s Operation Atalanta anti-piracy mission off the coast of Somalia. The warship will relieve the frigate Emden, which has been on deployment since January.Photo © 2010 Bundeswehr/Ann-Katrin HoffmannIn addition to its 240-strong crew, the Schleswig-Holstein is carrying a mobile protection element (MPE) to provide close-in protection against threats such as speedboats. The MPE can also deploy a 10-man vessel protection detachment (VPD) by helicopter or dinghy to a civilian ship. VPDs are regularly deployed on board ships of the UN World Food Program between Mosbasa and Mogadishu, according to the Germany navy. The Schleswig-Holstein is currently scheduled to return to Wilhelmshaven in October.
ar99, Germany, EU, piracy
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