On Tuesday 4 September the 32nd wing of the Italian Air Force, which operates the remote controlled aircraft known as Predator, completed their first tasking with the EU Naval Force.

The Italian Predator team, which is based in Djibouti, carried out a successful 11 hour check test flight and was able to highlight its effectiveness in carrying out long-range surveillance and reconnaissance patrols.

In the coming months the remote controlled aircraft will be used to monitor the seas off the coast of Somalia where pirates have been known to operate and give an early warning of a possible attack.

As is the case with EU Naval Force warships and Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft, the remote controlled aircraft can also be used to monitor the safety of World Food Programme vessels as they transit the Indian Ocean.