On 15th of December 2016 NATO has ended its Operation Ocean Shield. The end of the operation comes as no surprise since it was announced at the CGPCS plenary meeting in June 2016 and re-confirmed at NATO’s Warsaw Summit.
For six years NATO has been one of the big three naval missions and played a major part in containing piracy to its current levels. While everyone agrees that the risk of piracy remains, it is a logical step to consolidate current activities and ensure that the naval deterrent against piracy is consolidated. The CGPCS community already thanked NATO for its vital contribution in its 2016 communique, and this gratitude was also expressed in a range of statements published last week. For reports on the end of Ocean Shields, see the news stories by the Seychelles News Agency, the Kenyan BusinessDaily, Reuters and a comment on the lessons of the operations published by piracy-studies.org.
With the end of the operations, NATO has announced its continued commitment to support the fight against piracy, and the organization will continue to participate in the CGPCS and SHADE, contribute to capacity building and will maintain the dialogue with the shipping industry via the NATO Shipping Centre. This ensures that NATO is ready to re-engage should the need arise.