Red Sea: European shipowners welcome launch of Operation ASPIDES

19 Feb 2024

Following growing attacks on commercial shipping, the EU Council has officially launched today the EU’s defensive maritime security operation in the Red Sea.

Operation ASPIDES, launched today, has a defensive mandate and will accompany and protect commercial vessels in the area against possible attacks at sea.

“European shipowners strongly welcome today’s announcement which officially launched the new European maritime security operation in the Red Sea. The escalating situation in the area puts our seafarers in danger on a daily basis and is increasingly impacting Europe’s supply chain and overall economic security. European presence in the area through the deployment of Operation ASPIDES is essential to address the security risks for commercial shipping and will contribute to keeping our seafarers safe. We encourage and support all coordinated efforts, including diplomatic, contributing to the de-escalation of the crisis in the area” said Sotiris Raptis, ECSA’s Secretary General.

The Red Sea is a key route for European trade and for the EU’s international connectivity. Protecting key shipping routes and the international principle of freedom of navigation is essential to guarantee the energy, food and supply chain security of Europe.


Background information

Operation EUNAVFOR ASPIDES will be active along the main sea lines of communication in the Baab al-Mandab Strait and the Strait of Hormuz, as well as international waters in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Oman, and the Persian Gulf.

The Operation Commander will be Commodore Vasilios Griparis, and the Force Commander will be Rear Admiral Stefano Costantino. The Operation headquarters will be based in Larissa, Greece. Operation ASPIDES will coordinate closely with the EUNAVFOR ATALANTA to contribute to maritime security in the West Indian Ocean and in the Red Sea with like-minded partners contributing to maritime security in its area of operation.


See our previous statement


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