Frigate ‘Numancia’ (F-83) returns to Rota Naval Base after participating in Operation ‘Atalanta’

Thursday, July 02, 2020

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Frigate ‘Numancia’ returns to Rota after participating in Operation ‘Atalanta’
Frigate ‘Numancia’ returns to Rota after participating in Operation ‘Atalanta’
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Frigate ‘Numancia’ returns to Rota after participating in Operation ‘Atalanta’
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Frigate ‘Numancia’ returns to Rota after participating in Operation ‘Atalanta’

Today, Thursday July 2nd frigate ‘Numancia’ has docked at Rota Naval Base after having been away from home for more than 150 days. During this period the ship has been integrated into the European force that protects World Food Program (WFP) ships as well as those units vulnerable to possible pirate attacks in waters of the Indian Ocean.

The ‘Numancia’ was the command ship of the Portuguese Commodore Vizinha Mirones, who was in charge of the operation until he was relieved by Spanish Rear admiral Ignacio Villanueva Serrano. RA Villanueva continues holding command of the operation aboard the frigate ‘Santa Maria’, which relieved her sister ship, the ‘Numancia’ on June 20th.

The F-83 has covered a total of 26,000 nautical miles, has visited more than 30 fishing boats in the area, and has completed more than 100 coastal reconnaissance flights with the ‘Scan Eagle’ drone and ‘AB-212 helicopter. The ‘Numancia’ has been able to fulfill the objectives of the mission despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Since almost the beginning of the mission, the ship, with more than 200 people on board, has always operated in compliance with the strict protection measures, highlighting the fact that she has been more than 120 days without visiting a port.

This has been the first time in the last four years that no pirate attacks have taken place between the months January and June, a period when pirate activity was most frequent, an example that Operation ‘Atalanta’ is bearing fruit.

Frigate ‘Numancia’ is the third ‘Santa Maria’ class unit. She is based in Rota as part of the 41st Escort Squadron. The ship takes its name from the ancient city of Numancia, which resisted the siege of the Roman Empire in 133 B.C. The ship has also inherited her name from the 19th century armored frigate ‘Numancia’, the first of its class to sail around the world between 1864 and 1867. The current frigate was delivered to the Spanish Navy in 1988 and, since then, she has participated in many international missions, among them Operations ‘Sophia’ in the Mediterranean Sea and ‘Atalanta’ and ‘Enduring Freedom’ in the Indian Ocean, underlining the commitment of Spain with global maritime security in all conflict scenarios.


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