Operation Atalanta Bids Farewell to Spanish Warship ESPS Santa Maria and Welcomes ESPS RelampagoOctober 25, 2016 - 10:34
On Monday 24 October Spanish warship, ESPS Santa Maria, completed her six month deployment with Operation Atalanta off the coast of Somalia and handed over this important role to Spanish warship, ESPS Relampago.
During her deployment, ESPS Santa Maria conducted patrols at sea in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean to deter any potential pirate attacks, as well as joint training with Seychelles maritime forces.
Before she departed the sea area to return home to Spain, ESPS Santa Maria’s sailors gathered on the flight deck for an Operation Atalanta medal parade, when Force Commander, Commodore Luyckx, took the opportunity to thank and congratulate the crew.
This is the third time that ESPS Relampago has deployed with Operation Atalanta. She was previously deployed to the EU’s counter-piracy operation in 2014 & 2012.
Commissioned in 2012, ESPS Relampago is the third in the series of modern and multipurpose ocean patrol vessels (OPV) in the Spanish Navy. She is ninety five metres in length and has a displacement of 2,500 tones. She can accommodate a crew of eighty six and has sixteen marines and a SH 60B ‘Seahawk’ helicopter embarked.
Before joining Operation Atalanta, ESPS Relampago carried out an intensive programme of training, including “Calificación Operativa” (CALOP) in Cartagena and Rota, Spain, with a focus on counter-piracy operations.
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