‘Italian naval presence part of anti-terror war’

A Staff Reporter
Filed on May 11, 2005

ABU DHABI — Italian naval presence in the Gulf waters is part of Italy’s overall strategy to combat international terrorism, an Italian Navy official said here yesterday.

“We work within the international territorial waters to deter terrorists from misusing the sea and ensure maritime security for the countries in the region,” Andrea Gueglio, Commanding Officer of Frigate Grecale, the Italian ship presently docked in Mina port, told Khaleej Times.

Part of the US-led coalition forces, Frigate Grecale belongs to the second Frigates Squadron together with the twin ships Maestrale, Libeccio and Scirocco. Grecale is presently carrying out her second assignment to Operation Enduring Freedom after the five months deployment of the summer 2003 and is scheduled to return home after mid-June.

“Since Italian Navy started to directly support Operating Enduring Freedom in 2001, there has been a constant presence of at least one Italian Navy ship inside ‘comusnacent’ area of responsibility,” noted Commander Andrea.

“We are fully integrated in the wide international task force conducting maritime security in the Red Sea, the Golf of Eden, Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Gulf with a total deployment period of five months for each ship.”

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