Spanish OPV Vencedora contributed outstandingly to EU NAVFOR with 85 percent of time on main taskMay 29, 2010 - 13:36
After two months of excellent performance in EU NAVFOR the Spanish Ocean Patrol Vessel (OPV) ESPS Vencedora returns to home base.
She contributed with high standards in all tasks but mostly in the primary task; escorting WFP and AMISOM transports 84 percent of her time! Vencedora also executed reconnaissance patrolling along the Somalia coast and provided protection to shipping through the IRTC in the Gulf of Aden.
The Force Commander Rear Admiral (LH) Jan Thörnqvist greeted the Commanding officer of ESPS Vencedora, Commander Ricardo Fernandez Lopez, in a special farewell-signal and stated:
“ESPS Vencedora has done a great job in Operation Atalanta and you and your crew have always shown admirable spirit, reliability and professionalism in accomplishing your tasks and challenges.”
Admiral Thörnqvist also praised ESPS Vencedoras crew for high performance and outstanding stamina. Their dedication and specialization in escorts allowed other EUNAVFOR units to increase the pressure outside the pirate camps during this inter-monsoon period.
ESPS Vencedora captured two suspected pirates (SP) who were found in a whaler with engine problems. One of the SPs required to be treated of a serious infectious injury. They were later transferred to another ship and then released. She also carried out a few friendly approaches to Indian and Yemeni dhows in the Area of Operation.
ESPS Vencedora hasn’t operated beyond the Suez Canal since the first Gulf War in 1991. She is also believed to have been the first Spanish warship to visit Tanzania since it’s independence in 1961. During the two months spent in the Area of Operation the Spanish Ocean Patrol Vessel was at most 5 800 nautical miles from her home base in Canary Islands.
“Satisfaction is the common feeling within crew members as we provided food and stability to the region which someday will allow Somalia to reach prosperity and long-lasting peace”, the XO Lieutenant Commander Guevara Romero concludes.
EU NAVFOR Somalia – Operation ATALANTA’s main tasks are to escort merchant vessels carrying humanitarian aid of the World Food Programme (WFP) and vessels of African Union Mission in Somalia, AMISOM and to protect vulnerable vessels in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean and to deter and disrupt piracy. EU NAVFOR also monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.
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