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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Capt Howard Snaith honoured with medal for work as MNLO with EUNAVFOR

Capt Howard Snaith, INTERTANKO's Marine Director, was this week presented with the Common Security & Defence Policy Service Medal by Rear Admiral Thomas J Ernst, Deputy Commander of EUNAVFOR (European Union Naval Forces), to mark the huge commitment made by him and by other Merchant Navy Liaison Officers (MNLOs) to assist the naval forces in their fight against pirates in the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea.


Bellingham, Swift, Snaith, Koperniki, Ernst

The time and effort he devoted to this role when supporting the EU NAVFOR anti-piracy operation ATALANTA and MSCHOA (Maritime Security Centre Horn of Africa) at their headquarters in Northwood, U.K., and also in the months subsequently, have been way beyond the call of any duty that INTERTANKO could ever reasonably expect and have involved many personal sacrifices, which his wife Sarah and his family have tolerated with amazing patience and understanding.


Sarah and Howard Snaith


INTERTANKO and its Members are truly grateful and are delighted that this award appropriately recognises the deep appreciation of the tanker shipping industry, the navies, governments and all others involved in the fight against piracy in the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea and beyond.


At the medal ceremony, Rear Admiral Thomas Ernst, Deputy Commander of EUNAVFOR, spoke of how much the naval forces "depend on an active professional interface with the global shipping community", and how direct communication with professional master mariners "makes a huge contribution to the effort against piracy, which contribution is non-substitutable".


The Rt Hon Henry Bellingham MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the U.K.'s Foreign & Commonwealth Office (with responsibility for Africa), thanked the MNLOs for their contribution to the fight against the "evil trade" of piracy which is a "direct challenge to all civilised cultures … a crime of the worst possible sort, which is a direct assault on world trade and will not be tolerated".


He saluted seafarers for keeping the world's shipping lanes open. He went on to focus on the need for detained pirates to be held and tried, and then imprisoned once convicted, saying that discussing such matters is number one on the government's agenda with Kenya and with the Seychelles, and that it furthermore recognises the need to help build prison capacity in Somalia and Puntland.


INTERTANKO has continued to provide support to the EUNAVFOR anti-piracy operation ATALANTA, not only through its day-to-day contacts with the Maritime Security Centre Horn of Africa (MSCHOA) but also by providing Howard as a MNLO (on 2 days a week secondment throughout 2009).


More recently we looked into the provision of Senior Merchant Navy Officers directly from the Association's membership. With the help and support of Teekay Shipping, we were able earlier this year to provide an MNLO, Captain Laureano Larrauri, who has just recently completed three months' MNLO secondment at Northwood, and he was also honoured with the Operation Atalanta Medal.


We also acknowledge the great work performed by the other MNLOs who were also Operation Atalanta Medal recipients this week, and who have been on secondment to MSCHOA at Northwood for various periods since 2008: Capt Colin Shoolbraid and Capt Michael Hawkins (BP); Capt Steve Barber (Shell); Capt Roger Harding (Maersk); Capt Stuart Walker (IMT/ExxonMobil); Capt Jon Hobbs (Carnival); Capt Ko Shindo (NYK); Capt Steven Moon (BW Shipping); Capt Aaron Cooper (Chevron); Simon Church (EUNAVFOR).


Howard Snaith (2nd from left) and other MNLOs


The role of the MNLO remains critically important to the success of MSCHOA but it remains difficult to secure this sort of ongoing support to the anti-piracy operation. We therefore continue to seek volunteers from within our membership for secondment periods of up to three months through the rest of 2010 and 2011.


The role of the MNLO is to assist service personnel at Fleet Headquarters (FHQ) Northwood with the ongoing establishment and continuous improvement of:

  • Operational and Concept plans for EUNAVFOR
  • Merchant Shipping Briefs to EUNAVFOR
  • Reporting and co-ordination arrangements for merchant ships
  • Liaison arrangements with the European Union (EU) (and other international shipping companies and shipping associations);
  • Structures to enable effective information flow of merchant shipping movements in the Gulf of Aden & Somali regions to the military authorities;
  • Liaising directly with shipping companies and ships' masters in transit through the region.


Contact: Bill Box