Three Czechs to join Operation Atalanta

Three Czech officers are to take part in the EU’s Operation Atalanta which protects vessels against pirates off the coast of Somalia, the Czech Defense Ministry reported. Atalanta is the European Union’s first naval operation and is being conducted in the framework of the EU’s security and defence policy. It was launched at the start of 2009 and scheduled for an initial period of twelve months, but has now been extended by the Security Council until December 2010. During this period up to 12 EU ships and a number Maritime Patrol Aircraft will operate off the Somali coast. The three Czech officers are starting their mission in London next week.