Operation Atalanta commander visits Spanish Warship in Gulf of Aden

Spanish sailors of Santa Maria assemble on the flight deck for address by counter-piracy Force Commander, Cdre Luyckx. Photo: EUNAVFOR

Operation Atalanta’s force commander Commodore René Luyckx recently visited fellow mission-warship ESPS Atalanta in the Gulf of Aden.

The Royal Netherlands Navy frigate HNLMS Tromp is the current Flagship of counter-piracy Operation Atalanta. Whilst patrolling in the Gulf of Aden recently she was in close proximity with fellow Operation Atalanta warship, ESPS Santa Maria so the force commander took the opportunity to visit the Spanish sailors.

ESPS Santa Maria is 35 years old and has been sailing with Operation Atalanta since May 2016. Commodore Luyckx was welcomed aboard by her Commanding Officer, Commander Antonio Posada and given a tour of the warship and a capability brief.

Before returning to the force headquarters aboard the flagship, the force commander addressed the crew in Spanish from the ship’s flight deck. He expressed gratitude for the crew’s ongoing enthusiasm.

Following the visit, both warships returned to their duties in the waters off Somalia, deterring and disrupting piracy.

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