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Vessel “Patiño” completes its integration into the Standing NATO Maritime 2

Mediterranean Sea
November 27, 2020

·       The fleet replenishment ship is sailing back to national territory after a navigation of around 11,000 nautical miles during the two months deployment

The combat replenishment vessel (BAC in Spanish) ‘Patiño’ completed its integration into the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG-2) after two months of international deployment.

Throughout this period, the BAC 'Patiño' took part in several exercises programmed by various allied countries - "Dynamic Mariner", "Dynamic Guard" and "Mavi Balina" - and passage exercises (PASSEX) with various Greek, German, Italian, Turkish and British units.

The ship successfully completed its role of logistical support to the ships participating in the different manoeuvres. Specifically, it made a total of 20 fuel replenishment at sea, so that the vessels were able to continue their mission without having to arrive at port. It also made another supply providing two tons of frozen food to the frigate "Álvaro de Bazán".

In addition to the usual logistical and fuel supply tasks, the ship had the opportunity to show other capabilities, such as the air capacity with the helicopter "Morsa 14" of the 5th Navy Aircraft Squadron, which carried out multiple flights with diverse missions, including logistics to precision shooting. Also, thanks to its ROLE-1, it provided medical and dental support to its crew and to allied ship personnel who needed it. As additional activities, emphasis was placed on the internal training.

Vessel ‘Patiño’ sailed approximately 11,000 nautical miles and made a total of seven stopovers during these two months. This year, due to the strict conditions imposed by COVID 19, the crew and embarked forces were not been able to go ashore except few isolated places made available to them at the naval bases.

The BAC ‘Patiño’ has still several tasks to fulfil on its way back to Spain. One of them is the logistic stop in Rota, where the Embarked Air Unit and the Marine Corps Security Operational Team (EOS) along with part of the crew will disembark.

Then, it will go to its base in the Arsenal of Ferrol, arriving in a date close to Christmas with a satisfied crew for having fulfilled their mission and thrilled at meeting their families. 


Undoubtedly one of the most unique aspects of this deployment was the impact caused by COVID-19. In September, the entire crew had to undergo a quarantine and PCR test in Ferrol to be able to board. Fortunately, there were no positive cases to regret.

After setting sail and undergoing a period of special cautions, the ship was declared COVID-free and remained that way to date. The crew experienced atypical navigation in this sense, since during the rest periods when going ashore they were not allowed to leave the port as a preventive measure. As far as possible, leisure on board was promoted with the celebration of culinary activities such as barbecues and paellas, sports contests and competitions, projection of football matches, request for limited areas for sports practices in port, etc. If possible, these conditions were an incentive to promote camaraderie and companionship among the crew. The stopover at the Naval Station of Mahón was an exceptional one, whose facilities were largely isolated and made available to the SNMG-2 crews thanks to the exceptional support of the Naval Command. 


SNMG-2 is one of the two Standing NATO Maritime Groups, which normally operates in the Mediterranean Sea. The deployments of the Standing Maritime Forces guarantee the existence of a force ready to intervene on any occasion and convey the determination of the Alliance responding to the needs of collective defence: the fundamental purpose of NATO. 

This is the way that the Armed Forces provide Defence and, therefore, for the well-being of Spanish citizens, guaranteeing their security wherever it is questioned, while Spain shows its commitment to NATO and contributes to safeguarding International Peace and Security. 

Fleet replenishment ship “Patiño”

It was designed in accordance with the requirements of the Spanish Navy and Royal Dutch Navy in a joint construction project, since its launch, the ship has participated in numerous national and multinational operations and exercises. 

As a Combat Replenishment Ship and true to its motto “I did not come to be served, but to serve”, the purpose of the BAC “Patiño” is to maintain the combat capability of a naval force deployed in distant theatres of operations for extended periods. It is designed to support a “Task Group” of an aircraft carrier, five frigates and twenty aircraft at sea for 21 days, thus increasing the range and presence of the Fleet of a maritime nation such as Spain, in remote areas.