The Spanish Navy continues its surveillance and protection endeavors in waters of national sovereignty.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

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OPV ‘Atalaya’ in the vicinity of the Isle of Alboran.
OPV ‘Atalaya’ in the vicinity of the Isle of Alboran.
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OPV ‘Atalaya’ in the vicinity of the Isle of Alboran.
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Offshore patrol vessel ‘Atalaya’ off the Spanish coast.
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The crew and SO personnel of the ‘Atalaya’ assisting the migrants.
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Patrol boat ‘Tagomago’.
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The ‘Tagomago’ departing Mahon’s Naval Station.
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Conducting firing and flare launching drills on board the ‘Tagomago’

The offshore patrol vessel (OPV) ‘Atalaya’ (P-74) and the patrol boat ‘Tagomago’ (P-22) have concluded their respective Maritime Security Operations (MSO) underlining the Navy’s commitment with the surveillance and protection of the waters of Spanish sovereignty.

The ‘Atalaya’ in the Strait of Gibraltar and Alboran Sea

The OPV ‘Atalaya’ set sail on October 28th from the port of Cartagena to carry out a comprehensive maritime surveillance and security mission in the strategic waters of the Strait of Gibraltar and the Alboran Sea.

The main task was to guarantee the maritime spaces of sovereignty and national interest. In addition, and at the same time, the ship integrated as a support element into NATO's Operation ‘Sea Guardian’ and the EU's ‘FRONTEX-INDALO’, highlighting international collaboration.

During this deployment intended to enhance the awareness of the maritime domain, the ‘Atalaya’ conducted several activities of verification and control of maritime shipping, supervision of fishing activities and protection of sea lines of communication in coordination with the Maritime Action and Surveillance Center (COVAM in its Spanish initials). The naval presence in the vicinity of the Alboran Island and the Spanish North African cities emphasized the strategic importance of the mission.

In an outstanding humanitarian episode, during the transit to the island of Alboran from the port of Malaga, the ‘Atalaya’ intercepted and rescued 36 people from a drifting vessel. The crew of the patrol boat and the Marine Corps security squad on board provided medical care, shelter and food to the migrants, demonstrating their commitment to maritime safety and the protection of human life at sea.

After more than 3,923 miles sailed during 21 days, the ‘Atalaya’ returned to her home port in Ferrol (NW Spain) in the morning of Friday, November 17th.

The ‘Tagomago’ in Southern Peninsular Waters, Mediterranean Coast and Balearic Islands:

On the other hand, the patrol boat ‘Tagomago’ played an important role in the surveillance and control of shipping in the waters of the southern Peninsula, extending from Huelva to the Balearic coasts. During the period from November 5 to 16, the ‘Tagomago’ carried out operations designed to ensure the safety of the merchant and fishing communities, as well as to detect any illegal activity in the area.

Highlighting the versatility of her role, the ‘Tagomago’ participated in joint exercises, including a missile launching and amphibious landing operation as part of DÉDALO-23. In the waters off Menorca, she collaborated closely with the Army's Coastal Artillery Defense Unit (UDACTA in its Spanish initials), strengthening interoperability and effectiveness in joint operations.

As a port of rest, the ‘Tagomago’ called at Mahon Naval Station, giving the crew the opportunity to visit the UDACTA in the island. In addition, in order to maximize the efficiency in the use of resources and to optimize training, several exercises were carried out simultaneously with other elements from the local permanent surveillance mission.

On November 16th and after more than 1,800 miles sailed in 12 days, the ‘Tagomago’ docked in Malaga, her home port, completing one of the longest MSO commissioned to an ‘Anaga’-class patrol boat. Prepared and ready to take on her next commission, the ‘Tagomago’ stresses the ability of Spanish patrol boats to adapt to diverse roles and operational scenarios.

These missions underline the importance of the Spanish Navy in maritime security, humanitarian response at sea and the defense of national maritime interests, at sea and from the sea.


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