Overseas Operations

Overseas Operations


The AFM made its first operational deployment in support of an EU-led civilian crises management operation in September 2008, when it deployed personnel to serve in support of the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) in Georgia, a commitment which the AFM maintained up to September 2013.

In 2007, an AFM Officer was attached with the Italian Contingent deployed in Lebanon as part of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) operation which was followed by a deployment of another Officer in 2011. Since November 2018, AFM Officers and soldiers have been deployed with the Irish Defence Forces in support of UNIFIL, rotating every six months.

In 2008, the Council of the European Union adopted the decision to launch an EU military operation, EU NAVFOR Atalanta to contribute to the deterrence, prevention and repression of acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast. The AFM supported this operation by deploying Staff Officers within the mission's Operational Headquarters which was initially located in Northwood, United Kingdom and relocated to Rota, Spain in March 2019. The AFM continues to sustain its commitment to this operation to the present day. In 2010, Malta also deployed a Vessel Protection Detachment (VPD) on board the Dutch Navy vessel Johan de Witt off the Somali coast in support of the same mission. Another AFM Vessel Protection Detachment was deployed on board another Dutch warship off the Somali coast in 2011. In 2013 and 2014 the AFM deployed a Special Duties Enhanced Boarding Team (SDEBT) and

Malta Special Duties Enhanced Boarding Team (MSDEBT) on the HNLMS Johan De Witt and HMS De Zeven Provincien respectively.

Between April 2010 and February 2013, Malta deployed several infantry instructor training teams to Uganda following an EU Council decision to launch the EU Training Mission Somalia (EUTM Somalia) which was aimed at contributing towards stability in Somalia through the training of Somali Security Forces. The AFM also provided a staff officer at the mission Headquarters in Kampala.

The AFM contributed with an Officer and a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer in assistance to the European Operation EUNAVFOR MED Operation SOPHIA. This mission was launched by the European Union aimed at preventing illegal migration and initiated in June 2015. Operation SOPHIA ceased to exist in March 2020, evolving into Operation IRENE which Malta does not contribute to.

The AFM also supports the Organisation for the Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) by providing Officers during OSCE Inspection and Verification Missions in support of the Vienna Document of 2011 and the Dayton Accords.

The AFM also contributes to FRONTEX, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency’s operations. The AFM’s first participation dates back to 2006 with the focus being on migration flows in the Central Mediterranean region. The current ongoing contribution initiated in 2013 when the AFM deployed a number of teams to the EU external land borders in Greece and Bulgaria along the Serbian, Northern Macedonian and Turkish borders. The latest Frontex deployment to be embarked upon by the AFM is the deployment of Information Management Officers to the Frontex Situation Centre in Warsaw, Poland, participation which started in 2018.

Also, a total of four AFM Officers are posted in Brussels, the seat of the EU, at any one time. Two of these Officers are serving within the Maltese Embassy, one is seconded to the European Union Military Staff (EUMS), and one is on a six-month rotation as a special assistant to the Chairman of the EU Military Committee.

The Force's deployments on crisis management operations are co-ordinated by the International Affairs Branch within Headquarters AFM. Such regular overseas operational deployments by the AFM fly the Maltese flag internationally and enable it to be a Force for Peace and a Force for Good.

 Contact Name 
Headquarters AFM
Luqa Barracks
Luqa VLT2000

(+356) 2249 4016