“Agenor” is a maritime surveillance operation which aims to strengthen Europe’s ability to assess the situation and monitor maritime activity, and to guarantee freedom of navigation in the Arabian Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.
Belgium will command Operation Agenor for a period of approximately five months (from mid-January to early June 2023), during which it will provide the commander and part of the staff. The Belgian contribution will consist of seven staff officers and non-commissioned officers operating from the Abu Dhabi’s Force Head Quarter (FHQ).
According to Belgian news agency Belga, command will be ensured by captain Renaud Flamant, who for the occasion will be promoted to the rank of rear admiral. This is the second time Belgium leads Agenor after assuming command from March to July 2022.
« Through this limited commitment, Belgium shows its solidarity and loyalty to its European partners. In addition, this commitment allows the Belgian Navy to broaden its operational experience in an international staff and to strengthen interoperability with its international partners. Finally, the Agenor command will ensure high international visibility for Defense with a limited commitment in terms of personnel and resources »,
Belgian government statement
In early 2020, following numerous incidents in the Strait of Hormuz, France proposed to launch the EMASOH observation mission, aimed at guaranteeing freedom of navigation and defusing the situation in the Persian Gulf.
EMASOH takes place within the framework of a coalition of 9 European countries and aims to contribute to the freedom of navigation and to de-escalate the situation in the Persian Gulf. The maritime pillar of this mission was baptized Agenor.
Agenor was recently reinforced by a French Navy ATL2 maritime patrol aircraft and its “Ulysse Echo” crew. “The aircraft will be conducting reconnaissance flights and show presence over the Strait of Hormuz and the adjacent maritime areas,” the operation communication team said on Twitter.