Greece, Britain, France and Germany will provide warships for the initial naval contingent. France and Italy will provide patrol aircraft. The task force will replace a Nato force that has been in the region escorting cargo ships to Somalia since the end of October.

The participating Greek Navy has chosen EnGarde body armor to protect its crew against the heavily armed Somali pirates. Recent incidents have shown that the pirates, operating in speedboats and carrying AK47’s and rocket launchers, are not reluctant to use their firepower in order to capture both passenger as merchant vessels. At least 23 hijackings and attempted seizures have been recorded off the Somali coast since mid-March.

EnGarde, a Dutch manufacturer and distributor of high quality body armor for law enforcement, military and civilians worldwide has developed a bullet proof vest which is very light-weight and is resistant to the salt sea water. The vest has positive buoyancy and actually helps a person to float in water.

According to E.M. Stek, international sales manager of EnGarde, the furnished bullet-proof vests have proven to be an excellent choice for the Greek Navy. “The lightweight armor offers a multi-hit protection and is very comfortable to wear. Recent events in the Gulf of Aden have resulted in an enormous increase in requests for body armor. We do not only receive requests from Navies but also from commercial shipping, which are also investing in the protection and safety of their crews.” EnGarde body armor is rapidly expanding on an international level. The company’s headquarters are based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and serves clients worldwide providing state-of-the-art body armor products.