The flagship of NATO’s anti-piracy operation ‘Ocean Shield’, Spanish F-100 frigate Álvaro de Bazán, welcomed aboard the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy. The Prime Minister was hosted by rear-admiral Eugenio Díaz del Río, commander of the operation, who briefed the PM on the activities carried out by the allied task force.
Spanish Navy Rear-admiral Eugenio Díaz del Río took command of SNMG-2 last June and will be relieved early this year.
The Prime Minister met with the crew and took the opportunity to commend them on their efforts on combating piracy and guaranteeing maritime security in the area.
The ‘Álvaro de Bazán’ has a complement of 180 men and women. Further personnel on board include the International Staff, the UNAEMB (Embarked Air Unit) to support SH-60B helicopter operations, medical personnel and a Marine Corps Security Team.
The Prime Minister was accompanied by the Minister of Defense, Pedro Morenés, the Chief of the Defense Staff, admiral Fernando García, the Chief of Naval Staff, admiral Jaime Muñoz-Delgado, the Spanish ambassador in Djibouti and other authorities.
Álvaro de Bazán relieved Spanish frigate ‘Blas de Lezo’ and took the helm as the command ship of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG-2) in December. The SNMG-2 is made up of escorts and logistic ships from different NATO nations.
Naval Today Staff, January 2, 2014; Image: Spanish Navy