AOR ‘Patiño’ (A-14) returns home after participating in Operation ‘Noble Shield’

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

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Crew members with their families
Crew members with their families
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Crew members with their families
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RAS with HMS ‘Duncan’
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Double RAS with HS ‘Psara’ and HDMS ‘Niels Juel’
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VERTREP with HMS ‘Duncan’
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Firing exercise from the ship’s helicopter
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RAS with frigate ‘Méndez Núñez’

The auxiliary oiler and replenishment ship (AOR) ‘Patiño’ has just arrived at her home port in Ferrol (NW Spain) after having participated in Operation ‘Noble Shield’ as part of NATO’s Rapid Reaction Force. This is a new example of Spain’s commitment with the Atlantic Alliance. The ‘Patiño’, along with the frigate ‘Méndez Núñez’ still integrated into the operation, has completed a 75-day deployment.

Under command of CDRE Paul Stroude (RN) on board HMS ‘Duncan’, the ‘Patiño’ has contributed, thanks to her ample logistic capability, to extend the permanence at sea of the task force. The unstable situation in the Eastern Mediterranean for the conflicts in Ukraine and Hamas/Israel has been a test bench to highlight the capabilities and readiness of the AOR.

The ‘Patiño’ has provided support to all ships integrated into the Task Force as well as to other allied units deployed in the Eastern Mediterranean in stand-by to take part in NEO operations (Noncombatant Evacuation Operations).

As of the first days of the Near East crisis, the only logistic ships in the area were the FGS ‘Frankfurt’ and the ‘Patiño’. As a result of the Hamas/Israel conflict the naval activity has increased considerably with more than 70 units in the zone with US, French and Italian task forces, in addition to NATO’s TG 441.02 task force.

Other participating units in that force were the already mentioned frigate ‘Méndez Núñez’, and the FS ‘Sourcouf’, the ITS ‘Carabiniere’, the HS ‘Psara’, the HDMS ‘Niels Juel’, the TCG ‘Yavuz’ and HMS ‘Duncan’.

In the course of the three-month deployment the ‘Patiño’ has conducted 25 RAS (replenishment at sea) to 10 different naval units supplying nearly 6,500,000 liters of DFM fuel and 300,000 liters of JP5 fuel for aircraft.

After a port call in Rota Naval Base to disembark the helicopter, the A-14 proceeded towards Ferrol where she arrived on December 10th. The vessel was welcomed by the Commander of the 31st Surface Squadron, Captain Jesús Viñas and by family members of the ship’s crew.

During this deployment, the ‘Patiño’ visited the ports of Izmir, Souda, Aksaz and Naples.


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