Op Atalanta: ESPS Victoria, JDS Suzunami meet in Gulf of Aden

Spanish Navy’s Santa Maria-class frigate, ESPS Victoria, conducted a series of exercises with Japanese Takanami-class destroyer, JDS Suzunami, to strengthen counter-piracy cooperation between the two forces.

Meeting within close distance of the internationally recommended transit corridor in the Gulf of Aden, the exercises commenced with Spanish and Japanese helicopters conducting landings on both ships, in order to train flight crews and flight deck personnel.

Some crew members had the opportunity to operate on their counterparts’ ship to experience alternative procedures.

The two ships then carried out a ‘light-weight’ replenishment at sea, passing small packages from one ship to the other. This was followed by a ship handling and manoeuvering exercise and a small arms firing exercise. The end of training day was signalled by mutual farewells and naval honours.

Exercises such as this help to develop coordination and cooperation in the fight against piracy in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean.

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