Lithuanian officer joins EU mission against migrant trafficking in Mediterranean

Operation Sophia

Along with a Lithuanian officer who recently joined the mission, he will serve aboard the Italian carrier Giuseppe Garibaldi until the end of 2016. One more Lithuanian officer serves in the operational headquarters in Rome, the Lithuanian Armed Forces said.

According to the press release, two surveillance teams that consist of troops of naval seals, land forces and special operators are currently also preparing for the operation. The first 12-soldier group is planned to leave for the operational district in November to serve aboard a German warship for three months. The second team should replace the first group in early 2017.

The Sophia military operation was launched by the EU in 2015 in southern and central parts of the Mediterranean Sea region to prevent illegal human trafficking from Northern Africa, mainly Libya. Main tasks of the operation include intercepting and confiscating ships involved in illegal activities.

Lithuania’s parliament has sanctioned a dispatch of up to 20 troops to the operation.

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