Integrated in the European Atalanta operation against piracy for the duration of its deployment in the Indian Ocean, off the Horn of Africa, La Fayette participates in all missions fighting against sea piracy.
During the stop-over, the commander, Capitaine de Vaisseau Guillaume Merveilleux du Vignaux, and the French chargée d’affaires, Stéphanie Seydoux, will welcome Kenyan political and military authorities, diplomats, esteemed guests and journalists on board on Saturday 25 of August at 7.00 pm.
Also expected is Admiral Jacques Launay, Chief of the European mission EUCAP-NESTOR, which aims at strengthening the maritime capacities in the Horn of Africa, including Kenya.
Called to active duty in 1996, La Fayette is the first in a series of five innovative light frigates with stealth and discretion qualities that are remarkable assets to conduct maritime operations, including those carried out on the coastal fringe.
This type of vessel specially equipped with a Panther helicopter and speedboats is particularly suited to the fight against piracy that requires endurance, strength, discretion and quick projection capabilities.
Based in Toulon (France) it is served by a crew of about 170 sailors.
Operation Atalanta is a large-scale anti-piracy operation set up by the EU in November 2008 under the French Presidency of the European Union.
It deploys a multinational naval force in the Gulf of Aden and the Somali Basin, including French Navy ships.
Consisting of thirty warships from 20 nations, Operation Atalanta provides protection for nearly 80 per cent of commercial shipping in the Gulf of Aden.
France was previously involved in escort missions for ships chartered by the World Food Programme (WFP) between Mombasa, Kenya and Somalia (Operation Alcyon).
The operation was taken over by Europe’s Operation Atalanta, the first maritime operation carried out as part of European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP).
France played a pioneering role in the decision to escort civilian vessels in the Gulf of Aden, in securing a firm mandate from the UN Security Council to combat piracy, and in the decision to launch the first operation of the EU’s Operation Atalanta.