EU honours Spanish naval escort squadron

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A Spanish Navy escort squadron was honoured for commitment to the European Union (EU) naval force Atalanta for, among others, close to three thousand days at sea in 24 deployments over more than 14 years.

Operation Commander (OPCDR) of EU NavFor – Operation Atalanta, Vice Admiral José María Núñez Torrente awarded the 41st Escort Squadron of the Armada, with an emblem of the operation to mark prolonged and successful participation in this EU operation.

Currently, the 41st Escort Squadron is commanded by Captain Isidro Carrara Navas. The ceremony was held earlier this month (May) on the flight deck of the frigate Canarias, at Rota Naval Base (Cadiz), where the squadron is based.

Torrente thanked the women and men of different crews of the frigates composing the 41st Squadron for their extraordinary work in support of the Op Atalanta during its over 14 year existence.

“The frigates of the 41st escort squadron and their crews have become a permanent icon in the Indian Ocean, not to protect the interests of a particular country, but as a standard and spearhead of a greater endeavour that transcends time and borders.”

The 41st escort squadron of the Armada has since 2009 been the squadron with more participations in Atalanta than any other. This includes 24 deployments in the area of operations; more than 3 000 days in mission, of which 2 450 were at sea; more than 600 000 nautical miles sailed; being operation flagship on 12 occasions. Currently the frigate Reina Sofia patrols the waters of the Red Sea, permanently monitoring the crisis in Sudan and maintaining all capabilities to assist in execution of the Atalanta mandate.

The honour is the second EUNavFor one the OPCDR bestowed to Spanish units that have been part of Operation Atalanta for extraordinary participation. On January 13, the first went to the 22nd Group of Air and Space Force at Morón Air Base (Seville) for the contribution of the P-3 Orion maritime patrol reconnaissance aircraft, coinciding with its decommissioning.