Spanish Navy’s OPV ‘Vencedora’ set sail from her home port in Cartagena to take part in the ‘Africa Partnership Station’ (APS) initiative and several cooperative security activities in the African continent as part of the Defense diplomacy plan.
During the three and a half month deployment, the ship will conduct maritime security exercises within the APS framework. The first exercise, ‘Saharan Express’, intends to enhance maritime security capabilities of west-African nations in their own territorial waters and EEZs.
The second scheduled exercise, ‘Obangame Express’, consists of maritime interdiction (MIO) drills; that is, anti-terrorist and embargo operations, and fight against trafficking of materials and weapons of mass destruction.
APS is an initiative designed to increase stability and maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, enhancing the operational capabilities of regional nations by means of conducting joint training exercises.
On this occasion, the OPV ‘Vencedora’ will boost cooperative security activities with nations like Senegal, extending the mission –in relation with previous deployments– for nearly a month.
During her tour around the African coast, the patrol vessel will support the Defense Diplomacy Plan: a series of international activities based on dialogue and cooperation organized by the Ministry of Defense at bilateral level with allied or partner nations, in order to promote the objectives of the defense policy like conflict prevention and enhancement of security capabilities. To this end, the ship will make the following ports of call: Mauritania, Gabon, Ghana, Senegal and Cape Verde.
With this deployment, the Spanish Navy OPV will visit areas of vital interest for the security of Spain as stated in the National Security Strategy in reference to the Gulf of Guinea. Warranting maritime security in areas of interest is part of the standing missions of the Spanish Armed Forces.
Image: Spanish Navy