· The frigate will operate as flagship of the 33rd and 34th rotations
Once passed the Operational Qualification trials in November, the frigate 'Numancia' left Rota Naval Base towards the Indian Ocean to join the European Union operation EUNAVFOR Somalia, also known as Operation Atalanta. The main objective of this operation is to protect World Food Programme (WFP) vessels, as well as other vulnerable vessels, and to fight piracy in the waters of the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin.
Throughout this period, the frigate will be operating as flagship for the 33rd rotation, commanded by the Portuguese Commodore Vizinha Mirones, and-as of mid-March- the 34th rotation, commanded by the Spanish Rear Admiral Ignacio Villanueva Serrano.
The 'Numancia', third of the 'Santa María' class frigates, is based in Rota Naval Base as part of the 41st escort squadron. The frigate takes that name from the ancient city of Numancia which resisted the siege of the Roman Empire forces in 133 BC, and inherits it from the armoured frigate 'Numancia', the first of its kind to sail around the world. The ship was delivered to the Navy in 1988 and since then has participated in numerous international missions-"Sophia", "Atalanta" and "Enduring Freedom"-, underlining the commitment of Spain with maritime security in all conflict scenarios.