During this activity, the frigate F101 commanded Task Unit 441.01.03 made up of the ORP frigate 'Kosciuszko', the Spanish frigate and its two helicopters, the SH-2 'DRAGONFLY' and the SH-60B 'TORO'.
This patrol consisted of 7 days of cruising over 1,690 miles and arriving at the Gulf of Finland where the knowledge of the maritime environment and the control of the air situation was improved in order to understand the pattern of life in this area. In addition to contributing to the security of critical infrastructure, the two ships completed a scheduled training programme with a variety of multi-threat exercises and training, including helicopter gunnery and Z/C exercises.
Finished the patrol in the Baltic Sea the TU 441.01.03 has met again with the rest of ships of the NATO's Standing NATO Grouping No. 1 (SNMG1) to then call at the naval base of Kiel (Germany). In the mentioned port it has been used to carry out the usual logistical activities and for the crew to rest.
During the stay in port, the sad news of the death of our Admiral Chief of Staff of the Navy (AJEMA) Admiral General Don Antonio Martorell Lacave (DEP) was announced. The commander of the NATO grouping, Rear Admiral Thorsten Marx of the German Navy, in addition to his condolences, expressed his admiration for the figure of our AJEMA. As a show of solidarity, all the ships flew their flags at half-mast.
Also notable during the stay in port was the holding of a religious ceremony on Palm Sunday, which was officiated by the four chaplains of the ships of the grouping and in which the recently deceased Admiral Martorell was confessed to the Virgin of Mount Carmel. The ceremony was attended by personnel from the four ships of the SNMG1 (FGS 'Mecklenburg Vorpommern', ORP 'G. T. Kosciuszko', HDMS 'Niels Juel' and PRP 'Bartolomeu Dias').
Currently, the frigate 'Álvaro de Bazán' is still integrated in SNMG-1 under the commander of the Operations Command, and is sailing in the Danish straits carrying out both presence and enhanced surveillance activities, as well as joint training activities together with the ships of the grouping and non-organic means based on land (mainly fighter planes from allied countries in the Baltic, such as Germany).
The frigate 'Álvaro de Bazán' currently has more than 200 men and women on board, including an embarked air unit, an operational security team belonging to the Security Unit of the Marine’s and a Chaplain.
The 31st Surface Ship Squadron consists of five F-100 frigates and two combat supply ships based in Ferrol, which provide deterrence and defence capabilities.