2018 marks the tenth year of EU NAVFOR’s Spanish maritime patrol aircraft detachments operations.
A lot has changed over the last ten years, including the types of aircraft used: with a P-3 Orion from 11th Wing (Morón Air Base) taking over from the D4s (CN-235s).
Their main mission is to fly over the operational areas, detect suspicious skiffs and guide warships to their position. They are also able to collect intelligence on specific areas. The aircraft’s are equipped with several advanced surveillance systems, which significantly enhance EU NAVFOR’s Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capability in the Somali Basin and Gulf of Aden. Their speed and high level of endurance make them a key asset in this large operational area.
The tenth anniversary is being celebrated today with a parade, coinciding with the Spanish National Day celebrations. The Spanish Ambassador will also be hosted at a reception with the detachment staff.
The Spanish MPRA, since the beginning of the detachment, have been a key element in the fight against piracy in the waters of the Indian Ocean, collaborating with the naval units of EU NAVFOR Somalia and other Djibouti based MPRAs operating with CTF151 providing stability and security to the ships that pass through the region.