The Spanish frigate ‘Cristóbal Colón’ (F-105) departed La Graña Naval Station on February 24 to relieve the frigate ‘Álvaro de Bazán’ (F-101) as command ship of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG-2).
After successfully completing an operational qualification period, the ‘Cristóbal Colón’ will carry out the final (MAR – JUL) of the three scheduled rotations of Spanish Navy warships during the Spanish command of SNMG-2.
The SNMG-2 is made up of escort and logistics ships from different NATO nations. Spanish Navy Rear-admiral Eugenio Díaz del Río took command of SNMG-2 in June 2013 and his tour of duty will conclude next July.
While integrated in SNMG-2, the ‘Cristóbal Colón’ will participate in operation ‘Ocean Shield’ in the Indian Ocean. This operation is NATO’s contribution to the international community efforts to counter piracy in the Horn of Africa.
The farewell ceremony was presided over by Rear-admiral Antonio Pintos, Commander of the Naval Action Group 1 (COMGRUP-1), and attended by other military authorities and relatives of the crew.
The frigate ‘Cristóbal Colón’ 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 detachment.
|CRISTOBAL COLON SPECIFICATIONS|
|Complement||250 (48 officers)|
|Range||4,500 nm at 18 kn|
Press Release, February 27, 2014; Image: Spanish Navy