On Sunday 6 April the German commander of the EU Naval Force Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft (MPRA) P-3C Orion reached 3,000 of flying hours. After he returned to the Djibouti airbase, where the aircraft is currently based, he received a special welcome from the German MPRA detachment leader.
“It is something really special to have reached this flying hours’ milestone, especially during the EU’s important counter piracy mission off Somalia and where I am operating abroad,” said the German pilot when receiving his ‘jubilee’ certificate.
The flying hours’ milestone was made even more poignant given that the commander and his crew had only flown in to the Horn of Africa region a few days earlier.
The home base of the P-3C Orion crew is Nordholz in northern Germany and where they will return to in August.
The main tasks of the P-3 Orion unit are to carry out Surface Search and Reconnaissance, to locate designated or suspected vessels, mother ships and skiffs and to help build the Recognized Maritime Picture. The P-3, using its inherent flexibility, speed, reach and response time, has also been used to assist vessels under pirate attack, alone or in coordination with other assets, such as EU Naval Force helicopters and warships.
Press Release, April 14, 2014, Image: EUNAVFOR