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Displaying items by tag: Operation Sophia

#navy - The deployment of patrol vessels by the Naval Service is to end in the EU's big migrant rescue operation in the Mediterranean.

The move writes Independent.ie follows a decision by the EU to stop maritime patrols of the sea between north Africa and Europe and to focus, instead, on air patrols and closer co-ordination and co-operation with Libyan authorities.

Naval vessel, LE Eithne, with a crew of about 60, was due to return to the Mediterranean at the end of the month.

But the patrol vessel will now remain at home after previously being involved in the rescue of more than 500 migrants from the Mediterranean.

The mandate for the operation, codenamed Sophia, was due to expire on Sunday but will now be extended for a further six months with a similar aim of disrupting people smuggling and trafficking in the Med.

More on the story can be read here.

Published in Navy

#NavalService - LÉ James Joyce completed a 100 day tour of duty in the Mediterranean Sea as part of EUNAVFOR-Med, Operation Sophia, having returned yesterday to its homeport of Cork Harbour to be welcomed by families and loved ones alongside the quay.

Also in attendence at the Irish Naval Service Base on Haulbowline Island, was Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Mr. Paul Kehoe T.D and by the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces, Vice Admiral Mark Mellett DSM. 

The Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) P60 class, Commanded by Lieutenant Commander Martin Brett, and a crew comprising of 57 members of the Defence Forces received a warm welcome from family, friends and colleagues at the base's Oil Wharf facing Cobh. 

LÉ James Joyce became the third Naval Service ship deployed to the Mediterranean as part of Operation Sophia when the OPV departed in early July.

The ship's mission also included in conducted the hailing of more than 200 merchant ships, 6 friendly approach visits as previously covered on Afloat and 2 inspections.

The activities were all in support of the UN Arms Embargo off the coast of Libya, Africa as part of the EU’s comprehensive approach to disrupt trafficker/smuggler networks within the Mediterranean.

In advance of the homecoming of the OPV, Afloat.ie adds berthed at Cobh was newbuild sister LÉ George Bernard Shaw along with LÉ William Butler Yates. 

 

Published in Navy

#NavalService - The Tánaiste Simon Coveney has ruled out suspending Ireland's Naval Service involvement in the Mediterranean migrant rescue mission and bringing crews home to deal with staff shortages.

As The Irish Times writes, Independents4Change TD Clare Daly claimed “the service is in meltdown”, said that for the first time in its history the service was unable to do its core function of sea fisheries protection.

She suggested it was time suspend the State’s participation in Operation Sophia and bring staff home to “protect our sea fisheries and coastal waters”.

She was commenting after it emerged that senior Naval personnel were ordered to end the 72 hours notice personnel normally got to provide short-term relief on ships and that personnel would have to be ready for duty without warning.

The order was subsequently rescinded.

The Dublin Fingal TD said that ships normally crewed by 44 personnel were putting to sea with 34 and she asked if it was time to bring the crew members home from Operation Sophia.

For further reading on Operation Sophia, click the link to the newspaper here.

Published in Navy

#NavalService - The Irish Times writes the Department of Defence denied that a Naval Service patrol ship was involved in any NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) exercise or operation during a manoeuvre with a Spanish frigate in the Mediterranean earlier (last week).

An exercise between Naval Service patrol ship LÉ James Joyce and a Spanish frigate Cristobal Colon prompted a tweet from the Spanish defence ministry with hashtag “We are NATO” last Monday.

The Department of Defence said the Cristobal Colon was providing support to “Operation Sophia”, the EU naval force mission in the Mediterranean, when it spent time with the LÉ James Joyce.

It confirmed that the Spanish frigate was transiting the Central Mediterranean en route to join up with the Nato-led “Operation Sea Guardian”.

For more on this story, the newspaper has a report here. 

Published in Navy

#NavalService - Previously on Afloat, the Irish Naval Service P60 class LÉ James Joyce was featured conducting 'Friendly Approaches', this time the OPV is seen pictured above undergoing a replenishment at sea (RAS) exercise.

The Offshore Patrol Vessel, LÉ James Joyce was deployed last month to join Operation Sophia/EUNAVFOR (European Union Naval Force). The EU led mission is to combat and disrupt people-trafficking in the central Mediterranean Sea off north Africa.

Due to the large distances at sea during Operation Sophia, naval vessels from other participating EU member states also involve RAS. The above exercise involved the auxiliary tanker that Afloat.ie has identified as the German Navy's FGS Mosel. The 1993 built vessel is the second of a quartet of Type 404 'Elbe' class tanker tenders. 

Auxiliary tankers such as 3,586 displacement FGS Mosel carry out bunkers, a nautical term to supply fuel to ships. In addition the tender is designed to provide fresh water, ammunication and general supplies that can be stored in containers as seen above on the deck.

Published in Navy

#NavalService - As previously reported on Afloat, LÉ James Joyce last month was deployed to the central Mediterranean to take over Operation Sophia duties which also involve 'friendly approaches'

The Irish Naval Service P60 class Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) replaced a sister, LÉ Samuel Beckett which had worked alongside other EU member states navies participating in the migrant mission. Ireland first became involved in Operation Sophia last year.

The core tasks of Operation Sophia / EUNAVFOR -Med is designed to combat and disrupt people-smuggling in addition to saving lives in seas off Libya, north Africa. In addition the role of friendly approaches is included. According to the Naval Service they provide an opportunity of interact face-to-face with members of the merchant vessels’ community who regularly transit in the area of naval operations.

Friendly approaches enable in providing messages on the operation and to collect useful information on what is happening at sea.

Prior to a friendly approach is conducted, the opportunity is at first given as an invitation of the Master of the vessel. In addition the vessels do not form any part of boarder control or inspection process.

The overall level of awareness arising from friendly approaches provides Operation Sophia to be more effective having assessed such operational activity and interacting with merchant ships in a personal manner.

Since the UN arms embargo off the Libyan coast began in 2016, Operation Sophia assets have carried out 117 friendly approaches.

Published in Navy

#NavalService - Naval Service crew from offshore patrol vessel (OPV) LÉ Samuel Beckett arrived home to a heroes welcome today after three months in the Mediterranean on humanitarian rescue operations.

The vessel writes Independent.ie is under the command of Lt Cmdr Eoin Smyth, was cheered to the echo as it rounded Roche's Point in Cork harbour and berthed at Haulbowline Naval base.

Lining the quayside were the families of the 54 crew members - including dozens of children who had missed their enlisted parents since the deployment last May.

LÉ Samuel Beckett was the second Irish patrol ship to deploy to the Mediterranean this year as part of Ireland's commitment to Operation Sofia, the European mission to help migrants attempting to cross from north Africa to the EU.

The OPV has been replaced on station as Afloat previously reported in the Mediterranean by LÉ James Joyce.

For further reading on the return of LÉ Samuel Beckett, click here. 

Published in Navy

#NavalService- LÉ James Joyce is currently in the Mediterranean having departed Cork Harbour almost a week ago to replace the first Irish Naval Service ship to be deployed to Operation Sophia during this year, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Prior to the departure last Friday, Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces Vice Admiral Mark Mellett DSM, bid farewell to the crew LÉ James Joyce. The Offshore Patrol Vessel was berthed at the oil wharf at Haulbowline Naval Base in preparation for the overseas deployment.

In recent days, LÉ James Joyce was offshore of Algeria and today is heading further eastward towards the cental Mediterranean. The second of the OPV90 class offshsore patrol vessels will takeover duties from LÉ Samuel Beckett which in March began deployment for Operation Sophia.

Last year the OPV80 class LÉ Niamh was deployed as the first Irish Naval Service ship in Operation Sophia, an EU led mission designed to disrupt people-trafficking in Libya in addition to saving the lives of migrants.

LÉ James Joyce is under the Command of Lieutenant Commander Martin Brett. A total of 57 personnel make up the crew from members of the Defence Forces. They will be on extended deployment since receiving notice that they would be sailing to assist Operation Sophia which involves other navies from participating EU member states.

Published in Navy

#Navy - Crew members of L.É. Samuel Beckett in Malta last weekend were presented with their Operation Sophia medals from the Irish Naval Service, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Flag Officer Commanding Naval Service (FOCNS) Commodore Michael Malone visited Valletta Harbour last weekend to present the medals to the crew who since April have been deployed in the Mediterranean. 

Since the fallout from Libya's boat people trafficking in 2015, the EU launched as a military operation the European Union Naval Force Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR Med) also known as Operation Sophia. The name of the operation was inspired from Sophia, a baby born on board a German Navy frigate whose mother, a Somali refugee was rescued initially by the UK'S Royal Navy.

The 2014 commissioned OPV90 leadship L.É. Samuel Beckett is the second Irish Naval Service patrol ship to take part in Operation Sophia which began last October. On that occasion, OPV80 'Roisin' class LÉ Niamh made history as this was the first time that Ireland joined the EU naval operation tasked against smugglers and traffickers.

Unlike previous other humanitarian missions focusing on Search And Rescue (SAR) of refugees, Operation Sophia among its remit addresses some of the root causes of human-trafficking and migration crisis.

The deployment of LÉ Niamh for Operation Sophia ended late last year. Taking over duties in April this year saw L.É. Samuel Beckett join the EU naval fleet task force comprising of 10 participating member-states.

Following the FOCNS overseas visit to Malta, Commodore Michael Malone conducted another ceremony held in the Naval Base on Haulbowline Island, lower Cork Harbour. This involved an  annual inspection of L.É. James Joyce. The second OPV90 class commissioned into service in September 2015 was followed by L.É. William Butler Yeats in October 2016.

 

Published in Navy

#Navy - Leadship of the Irish Naval Service OPV90 class, LÉ Samuel Beckett is departing today for the Mediterranean to take part in 'Operation Sophia'.

As The Irish Examiner reports, Ireland first joined the EU naval operation against smugglers and traffickers last October when another Offshore Patrol Vessel, the OPV80 class LÉ Niamh was deployed for a three-month mission.

Minister with Responsibility for Defence Paul Kehoe says the crew will be helping to address some of the root causes of migration and human trafficking.

For more click this link. 

Published in Navy
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The Irish Navy Fleet

The Naval Service is the State's principal seagoing agency. The Naval Service operates jointly with the Army and Air Corps.

The fleet comprises one Helicopter Patrol Vessel (HPV), three Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV), two Large Patrol Vessel (LPV) and two Coastal Patrol Vessels (CPV). Each vessel is equipped with state of the art machinery, weapons, communications and navigation systems.

LÉ EITHNE P31

LE Eithne was built in Verlome Dockyard in Cork and was commissioned into service in 1984. She patrols the Irish EEZ and over the years she has completed numerous foreign deployments.

Type Helicopter Patrol Vessel
Length 80.0m
Beam 12m
Draught 4.3m
Main Engines 2 X Ruston 12RKC Diesels6, 800 HP2 Shafts
Speed 18 knots
Range 7000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 55 (6 Officers)
Commissioned 7 December 1984

LÉ ORLA P41

L.É. Orla was formerly the HMS SWIFT a British Royal Navy patrol vessel stationed in the waters of Hong Kong. She was purchased by the Irish State in 1988. She scored a notable operational success in 1993 when she conducted the biggest drug seizure in the history of the state at the time, with her interception and boarding at sea of the 65ft ketch, Brime.

Type Coastal Patrol Vessel
Length 62.6m
Beam 10m
Draught 2.7m
Main Engines 2 X Crossley SEMT- Pielstick Diesels 14,400 HP 2 Shafts
Speed 25 + Knots
Range 2500 Nautical Miles @ 17 knots
Crew 39 (5 Officers)

LÉ CIARA P42

L.É. Ciara was formerly the HMS SWALLOW a British Royal Navy patrol vessel stationed in the waters of Hong Kong. She was purchased by the Irish State in 1988. She scored a notable operational success in Nov 1999 when she conducted the second biggest drug seizure in the history of the state at that time, with her interception and boarding at sea of MV POSIDONIA of the south-west coast of Ireland.

Type Coastal Patrol Vessel
Length 62.6m
Beam 10m
Draught 2.7m
Main Engines 2 X Crossley SEMT- Pielstick Diesels 14,400 HP 2 Shafts
Speed 25 + Knots
Range 2500 Nautical Miles @ 17 knots
Crew 39 (5 Officers)

LÉ ROISIN P51

L.É. Roisin (the first of the Roisín class of vessel) was built in Appledore Shipyards in the UK for the Naval Service in 2001. She was built to a design that optimises her patrol performance in Irish waters (which are some of the roughest in the world), all year round. For that reason a greater length overall (78.8m) was chosen, giving her a long sleek appearance and allowing the opportunity to improve the conditions on board for her crew. 

Type Long Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 78.84m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 X Twin 16 cly V26 Wartsila 26 medium speed Diesels
5000 KW at 1,000 RPM 2 Shafts
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)
Commissioned 18 September 2001

LÉ NIAMH P52

L.É. Niamh (the second of the Róisín class) was built in Appledore Shipyard in the UK for the Naval Service in 2001. She is an improved version of her sister ship, L.É.Roisin

Type Long Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 78.84m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 X Twin 16 cly V26 Wartsila 26 medium speed Diesels
5000 KW at 1,000 RPM 2 Shafts
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)
Commissioned 18 September 2001

LÉ SAMUEL BECKETT P61

LÉ Samuel Beckett is an Offshore Patrol Vessel built and fitted out to the highest international standards in terms of safety, equipment fit, technological innovation and crew comfort. She is also designed to cope with the rigours of the North-East Atlantic.

Type Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 90.0m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 x Wärtsilä diesel engines and Power Take In, 2 x shafts, 10000kw
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)

LÉ JAMES JOYCE P62

LÉ James Joyce is an Offshore Patrol Vessel and represents an updated and lengthened version of the original RÓISÍN Class OPVs which were also designed and built to the Irish Navy specifications by Babcock Marine Appledore and she is truly a state of the art ship. She was commissioned into the naval fleet in September 2015. Since then she has been constantly engaged in Maritime Security and Defence patrolling of the Irish coast. She has also deployed to the Defence Forces mission in the Mediterranean from July to end of September 2016, rescuing 2491 persons and recovering the bodies of 21 deceased

Type Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 90.0m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 x Wärtsilä diesel engines and Power Take In, 2 x shafts, 10000kw
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)

LÉ WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS P63

L.É. William Butler Yeats was commissioned into the naval fleet in October 2016. Since then she has been constantly engaged in Maritime Security and Defence patrolling of the Irish coast. She has also deployed to the Defence Forces mission in the Mediterranean from July to October 2017, rescuing 704 persons and recovering the bodies of three deceased.

Type Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 90.0m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 x Wärtsilä diesel engines and Power Take In, 2 x shafts, 10000kw
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)

LÉ GEORGE BERNARD SHAW P64

LÉ George Bernard Shaw (pennant number P64) is the fourth and final ship of the P60 class vessels built for the Naval Service in Babcock Marine Appledore, Devon. The ship was accepted into State service in October 2018, and, following a military fit-out, commenced Maritime Defence and Security Operations at sea.

Type Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 90.0m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 x Wärtsilä diesel engines and Power Take In, 2 x shafts, 10000kw
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)

Ship information courtesy of the Defence Forces

About the Irish Navy

The Navy maintains a constant presence 24 hours a day, 365 days a year throughout Ireland’s enormous and rich maritime jurisdiction, upholding Ireland’s sovereign rights. The Naval Service is tasked with a variety of roles including defending territorial seas, deterring intrusive or aggressive acts, conducting maritime surveillance, maintaining an armed naval presence, ensuring right of passage, protecting marine assets, countering port blockades; people or arms smuggling, illegal drugs interdiction, and providing the primary diving team in the State.

The Service supports Army operations in the littoral and by sea lift, has undertaken supply and reconnaissance missions to overseas peace support operations and participates in foreign visits all over the world in support of Irish Trade and Diplomacy.  The eight ships of the Naval Service are flexible and adaptable State assets. Although relatively small when compared to their international counterparts and the environment within which they operate, their patrol outputs have outperformed international norms.

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