The Maritime Action Ship (BAM in its Spanish initials) ‘Relámpago’ with home port in Las Palmas (Canary Islands) has set sail to participate in the counter-piracy operation ‘Atalanta’ in the Indian Ocean.
The farewell ceremony was presided over by Rear-admiral Manuel de la Puente, Commander of the Canary Islands Naval Command accompanied by other local military authorities.
The ‘Relámpago’ is the sixth ship which participates in operation ‘Atalanta’, a EU maritime security mission fighting piracy in the Gulf of Aden and Somalia, also protecting merchant shipping and trawlers fishing in the area.
The Spanish Navy participates in this mission in collaboration with the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Defense Policy Secretariat.
The ‘Relámpago’ is the third ship of her class. The BAM concept (an oceanic patrol vessel) contemplates a state-of-the-art and multi-purpose ship with reduced maintenance and production costs, capable of operating not only in military missions, but also in search and rescue (SAR) operations, humanitarian aid, evacuations and the fight against sea pollution.
The ship is under the command of Lieutenant-Commander Isidoro Junguito Carrión. Her complement consists of 86 people: 51 crew members, 17 Air Unit personnel in support of the embarked helicopter and a 16-strong Special Operations detachment, in addition to a doctor and an interpreter.
Press Release, February 27, 2014, 2014; Image: Spanish Navy