2000 flight hours achieved by the Spanish MPRA detachmentJune 2, 2011 - 08:29
The Spanish Air Force “ORION” Detachment in Djibouti has recently reached 2.000 flight hours in support of EU NAVFOR, Operation ATALANTA.
Since the beginning of the operation, Spain has permanently contributed with a Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance (MPRA) capability, flying more than 330 missions with both the P-3 and C-235 VIGMA aircraft, all of them in support of the EU NAVFOR effort to reduce the level of piracy in the area of operations.
The main tasks of the P-3 unit are to perform Surface Search and Scan to locate designated or suspected vessels, mother ships and skiffs and to help build the Recognized Maritime Picture. The P-3, using its inherent flexibility, speed, reach and response time has also been used to assist vessels under pirate attack, alone or in coordination with other assets, such as EU NAVFOR helicopters and warships.
The “ORION” Detachment is an Expeditionary Tactical Unit, composed of 52 members from different Spanish Air Force units. Its Commanding Officer is also dual-hatted as CTG 465.01 commander. This element is tasked by CTF 465 to provide coordination and de-confliction between all EU and Djibouti based counter-piracy MPRA detachments.
EUNAVFOR Somalia – Operation ATALANTA’s main tasks are to escort merchant vessels carrying humanitarian aid of the World Food Program (WFP) and vessels of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). EUNAVFOR also protects vulnerable vessels in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean, deters and disrupts piracy. EUNAVFOR finally monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.
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