Twenty-five Spanish marines arrived two days ago at Rota Naval Base on board the Royal Netherlands Navy ship ‘Rotterdam’ after taking part in the African Partnership Station program for 2013. They have participated along with other Marine Corps instructors from Holland, the United States and the United Kingdom.
Africa Partnership Station (APS) is a multinational program designed to build skills and expertise on maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea and to provide military assistance to West African nations fighting piracy and drug trafficking.
The Spanish Navy has been participating in APS since 2007 providing specific training on ships protection, personal defense, first aid, boarding and search operations and use of small craft.
During this year’s deployment the marines helped train military personnel from Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal and Benin.
In Spain, 90% of all imports and 65% of exports are carried out by sea. In this sense, the Gulf of Guinea and the West African coast in general are important shipping routes for Spain, since nearly 10% of the oil and 25% of the gas imported by Spain comes from Nigeria.
‘Tercio de Armada’ instructors have participated in former editions of APS (2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012) visiting ports in Gabon, Sao Tomé, Guinea, Ghana, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Liberia, Nigeria and Senegal.
Press Release, November 13, 2013; Image: Spanish Navy