Operation Atalanta Warship ESPS Relampago trains with AMISOM’s Marine Unit


During their counter-piracy patrols off the coast of Somalia, Spanish marines and sailors from Operation Atalanta’s warship, ESPS Relampago, took the opportunity to train with AMISOM’s marine unit close to the port of Mogadishu.

The training included briefings and exercises on boat handling, search and rescue, first aid and boarding a vessel at sea that is suspected of being involved in piracy, the European Union Naval Force (EU Navfor) said on 8 February.

Maritime training with regional partners, such as AMISOM, is an extremely important aspect of Operation Atalanta’s work to deter piracy off the coast of Somalia. The aim is to strengthen cooperation and increase the capability and capacity of regional maritime forces to help seafarers stay safe during their transits across the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden, EU Navfor said.

During the training ESPS Relampago’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Francisco Garcia Flores, was delighted to welcome on board EUTM Somalia’s mission commander, Brigadier General Maurizio Morena and EUCAP Nestor police adviser, Mr Jos Van Thof.

ESPS Relampago previously visited the Seychelles where her crew took the opportunity to carry out a range of maritime training exercises with the Seychelles Maritime Police, Coastguard and Air force.

The first day of training focused on briefings about search and rescue (SAR) procedures, sea survival and the Global Maritime Distress System and Safety System (GMDSS). During the next few days the crews carried out practical first aid procedures and a simulated helicopter ditching exercise with rescue divers.

The training was part of Operation Atalanta’s important role to support the EU’s wider efforts to strengthen security and help regional states to develop their maritime capabilities in order to ensure that piracy remains suppressed in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden.

During the Seychelles visit, ESPS Relampago’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Francisco Garcia Flores, also welcomed on board EU Ambassador, Lionel Majeste-Larrouy and the Seychelles Minister of Home Affairs, Mrs Mitcy Larue and her delegation.

In January the EU Navfor announced that during their port visit to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, sailors and marines from ESPS Relampago took the opportunity to train with members of the Tanzanian Police Force and Navy.

The four days of training included briefings on stop and search, boarding operations, navigation, ship maintenance and boat handling procedures.