Operation Ocean Shield
Effective 15 December, NATO has ceased Operation Ocean Shield, its counter-piracy operation in the Indian Ocean. While NATO Shipping Centre will maintain its involvement in the area and its awareness of piracy developments, NATO has closed the named operation.
In 2008, the year NATO joined the international counter-piracy effort with other military entities such as UKMTO-Dubai, MSCHOA, and the Combined Maritime Forces, there were 83 attacks, 34 of which were successful. Currently, there has not been a confirmed piracy attack since January 2014; the last successful attack occurred over four years ago in May 2012.
Realizing that some of the conditions that led to the Indian Ocean piracy crisis remain, the success of NATO’s operation was possible only through close cooperation with other regional stakeholders – military, governmental and industry – and the individual vessels and crews that supported the jointly published piracy defence recommendations. That spirit of cooperation, if adequately sustained, will enable the international community to maintain vigilance regarding the threat of piracy in the region.
NATO Shipping Centre remains engaged and informed on the region and is committed to participation in regional counter-piracy forums and providing relevant information to the shipping community for the foreseeable future.