Patrol boat ‘Centinela’ wraps up its participation in the multinational exercise ‘Phoenix Express’.

Friday, May 28, 2021

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OPV ‘Centinela’ wraps up her participation in exercise ‘Phoenix Express’.
OPV ‘Centinela’ wraps up her participation in exercise ‘Phoenix Express’.
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OPV ‘Centinela’ wraps up her participation in exercise ‘Phoenix Express’.
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OPV ‘Centinela’ wraps up her participation in exercise ‘Phoenix Express’.
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OPV ‘Centinela’ wraps up her participation in exercise ‘Phoenix Express’.

The ‘Centinela’ (P-72), has just docked in the port of La Goulette in Tunis, thus ending its participation in the sixteenth edition of the ‘Phoenix Express’ exercise, which has been carried out in waters north of Tunisia with the aim of improving the training of African units in maritime security operations. The P-72 will now commence her cruise back to base.

The first phase (ashore) took place in the city of Tunis and the naval base of Bizerte and included activities focused on the training of personnel in maritime security procedures like VBSS (visit, boarding, search & seizure). In addition to the participation of the ‘Centinela’, the Spanish Navy also deployed a medical officer who taught evacuation techniques (MEDEVAC) for wounded personnel in this type of situations, and a non-commissioned officer instructor of the Marine Corps to deal with safety-related issues.

In the sea phase, the ship acted as the target vessel, assessing the participants' skills in the implementation of boarding procedures, the use of auxiliary vessels, the ability to take control of the seized vessel and the search in the vessel for evidence of any illicit activity or cargo. U.S. Coast Guardsmen and Marines from the Moroccan, Algiers, Egyptian and Tunisian navies contributed to the supervision of the vessels and equipment.

About the patrol vessel 'Centinela'.

The 'Centinela', with hull number P-72, is the second patrol ship of the 'Serviola' class and is based in Ferrol (NW Spain).

Her main mission at present is to conduct surveillance and security operations in maritime areas of national sovereignty. In addition, the patrol boat collaborates and supports other public departments with responsibilities in the maritime domain like shipping control, fishing surveillance and search and rescue (SAR) missions.

During 2021, in the months of February and April, the P-72 carried out two important maritime security operations in the Strait of Gibraltar.

The patrol vessel 'Centinela', currently commanded by lieutenant commander Miguel Angel Pereira Martinez, has a crew of 7 officers, 10 non-commissioned officers, and 28 sailors. The ship was built at Navantia’s shipyard in Ferrol and delivered to the Spanish Navy in September 1991.


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