Spanish Air Force Hits Milestone with Op Atalanta

The Spanish Air Force Orion detachment, which is currently deployed in Djibouti with the EU Naval Force, has achieved an impressive 7,000 flying hours milestone.

The Air Force detachment flies the P-3 Orion and CN-235 VIGMA aircraft and their main task is to conduct surveillance flights in the Indian Ocean and along the Somali coastline to look for suspected pirate ships and camps along the Somali coast.

The Orion detachment is an Expeditionary Tactical Unit and comprises fifty personnel, who are drawn from different units in the Spanish Air Force. The 7,000 milestone was celebrated on 16 May 2015 at the Orion detachment premises in Djibouti and was attended by both civilian and military personnel.

The detachment has been part of Operation Atalanta since the start of the Mission in December 2008 and has flown more than 933 missions, taken over 120,000 photos, identified over a thousand suspected vessels and travelled the distance equivalent to flying fifty times around the world.

Image: EUNAVFOR

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