Welcoming ESPS Victoria to EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation ATALANTA

Nov 05, 2019 - 14:52

05 November, 2019--Today, EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation ATALANTA welcomed the Spanish ship (ESPS) Victoria to the counter-piracy operation. The ESPS Victoria will be replacing the ESPS CANARIAS.

The ESPS Canarias sailed with Operation ATALANTA for four months, and has sailed with Operation ATALANTA numerous times in the past. Spain has contributed their naval assets, air assets and personnel to Operation ATALANTA since the beginning of the operation in 2008.

The ESPS Canarias ports in Rota, Cadiz in July, preparing for her most recent deployment with Operation ATALANTA.

ESPS Victoria belongs to the 41st escort squadron of the Spanish Navy, and the 41st squadron belongs to the combat group 1 (COMGRUP-1) of the “Fuerza de Acción Naval” (FAN). ESPS Victoria is the second ship of her class. Based in Rota, her versatility enables her to carry out a wide variety of missions that can be grouped into two main categories:

  • Maritime Interdiction Operations, which consist of controlling maritime traffic in a certain area and imposing restrictions that international organizations may see fit. This is carried out by identifying, boarding, inspecting and--when necessary--apprehending suspect ships.

  • Protection of valuable units; task these ships were initially designed for.

ESPS Victoria anchors in the Seychelles with Operation ATALANTA in 2015.

Throughout her career, ESPS Victoria has participated in many different missions, beginning with deployments in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf during Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. She also took part in Yugoslavia’s embargo (operation SHARP GUARD) and lately has participated in Active Endeavour and Enduring Freedom operations.

Finally, ESPS Victoria has taken part in the European Union Naval Force's Operation ATALANTA on three separate occasions before now, fighting piracy in the Horn of Africa and protecting ships of the World Food Program. She has also been one of EU NAVFOR MED - Operation Sophia's naval assets.