Writing to the ITF, Vice Admiral Clive Johnstone, Nato’s Allied Maritime Command commander, expressed his gratitude. He attributed the success of the mission to the commitment of shipping organisations and companies, concerned governments and militaries, and transiting ships themselves, which implemented recommended procedures. He also assured that Nato would continue to monitor developments and that “should the situation call for the involvement of Nato forces in the future, the Alliance will remain poised to act accordingly”.
Vice Admiral Johnstone continued: “For all the costs, both human and economic, incurred during the period of large-scale maritime criminal activity in the Horn of Africa region, a key benefit has been the more robust information exchange developed between concerned militaries and civilian maritime stakeholders. It is our hope that this environment will be sustained in the future. The Senior Leadership Forum, in which your organisation has been involved previously, is jut one example of the valuable information exchange mechanisms that supported quelling the regional crisis.
“Again, my most sincere thanks for your organisation’s commitment to reducing the piracy threat to vessels and their seafarers transiting through the Red Sea and Indian Ocean.”
Dave Heindel, chair of the ITF seafarers’ section, commented: “Operation Ocean Shield helped drastically cut what was previously a pirate free for all. It brought together not just the all important naval forces, but also the shipping industry and seafaring unions in the common purpose of protecting lives at sea. We are honoured to have played some part in that greater endeavour and would like to take the opportunity to thank Nato for its commitment and vigilance in protecting the world’s seafarers.”