The EU Naval Forces (EUNAVFOR) and international officers conducted a regional simulation exercise last 18th September, targeted to the officers of Regional Maritime Information Fusion Center (RMIFC) in Madagascar. This meeting was held as part of the activities implemented by the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) under the EU-funded Maritime Security programme (MASE).
Known as “MERCURY 2017”, this regional simulation exercise brought together a group of officers including Lieutenant-Commander John Ireland, EUNAVFOR liaison officer for Kenya, Seychelles, Mauritius and the Comoros; Bouke Berns, EUNAVFOR Policy Advisor; Captain Andrew Catchpole, from the British Navy and the representatives of the RMIFC.
One key element to help combat piracy off the coast of Somalia, this mechanism enables effective and coherent processing and management of strategic information flows between different stakeholders. Managed by EUNAVFOR, the MERCURY platform’s central unit is based at the Maritime Safety Center of Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA).
Focused mainly on the use of the “MERCURY” platform, the objective of this workshop is to contribute to the reinforcement of the “capacity building” of the RMIFC and other strategic partners engaged in the fight against piracy and in the promotion of maritime security in the ESA-OI region.
Organized on a regular basis, these sessions allow the RMIFC team to get acquainted to the system and also to get hands on field experience feedbacks from the multinational staff members.
In addition, beyond the fact of exchanging and sharing technical information and best practices with various stakeholders, the simulation exercise is also an opportunity for the RMIFC officers tobe enough geared upto deal with various types of maritime crisis in the region.