EUNAVFOR, Combined Maritime Forces aircraft meet over Gulf of Aden

A Japanese MPRA is seen over the wing of the Spanish P-3. Photo: EUNAVFOR
A Japanese MPRA is seen over the wing of the Spanish P-3. Photo: EUNAVFOR

The Spanish Air Force’s P-3 maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft (MPRA), currently deployed to Djibouti as part of Operation Atalanta, recently met with two Japanese P-3 aircraft which are deployed with the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) to fly in close formation over the Gulf of Aden.

Maritime air crews from the different task forces rarely get the chance to fly together given that their patrols cover an enormous sea area in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden, with their missions being carefully coordinated to ensure that any time on task is used as efficiently as possible.

As well as sharing a runway in Djibouti, the Japanese and Spanish MPRA detachments enjoy a close relationship away from the aircraft, with the crews regularly organizing coordination meetings and sports events. This close collaboration helps to ensure that pirate attacks remain suppressed off the coast of Somalia, with seafarers and their vessels remaining safe.

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