Spanish warships switch places in counter piracy mission off Africa

ESPS Patino conducts a replenishment at sea maneuver with Italian Navy FREMM frigate ITS Carlo Margottini. Photo: EUNAVFOR

A Spanish offshore patrol vessel replaced an auxiliary oiler as the Spanish Navy contribution to the counter-piracy effort off the Horn of Africa – operation Atalanta.

On April 21, oiler ESPS Patino left the Somali basin after five months of operations as part of the EUNAVFOR-led operation.

Filling Patino’s place is BAM (Buques de de Acción Marítima – Maritime Action Ship) Meteoro which operated as part of Op Atalanta in 2013 and 2015.

Patino patrolled around the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Aden since joining EUNAVFOR in December 2017, maintaining an ongoing presence in the region to protect World Food Program, AMISOM, and other vulnerable shipping by deterring and disrupting pirate activity.

In addition to refueling other ships at sea, Patino has also conducted surveillance and reconnaisance operations with its Seahawk SH60B helicopter, trained local maritime security forces in core maritime skills, provided medical assistance and evacuation to mariners in distress and conducted friendly approaches of local fishing vessels.

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