Spanish Air Force's aircraft P3, belonging to the 22nd Group landed last Sunday at the French air base BA188 in Djibuti. Sixteen airmen will be part of the ‘Atalanta’ operation, belonging to the EU Naval Force's Operation Atalanta in Somalia.
The rotation is made up of the 13 P3 crew members and three members of the Health Section, who will take over from the 70th rotation's staff following all protocols against the COVID-19 pandemic established in Djibouti, consisting on a PCR test and quarantine.
The full rotation have fulfilled with all protocols against the COVID-19 pandemic, including the disinfection of the aircraft and all the vehicles involved in the movement of personnel.
P3 aircraft from the air-tactical detachment provides maritime surveillance capability over large areas. This capability contributes directly to the safety of maritime traffic and provides a suitable knowledge of the area of operations, allowing a rapid reaction if required.
Operation Atalanta is part of the commitment undertaken by Spain, under the EU flag, in its effort to maintain security in the Gulf of Aden and Somalia waters, by protecting the World Food Programme protecting the ships of the World Food Programme, the ships of the UN misión for Somalia (AMISOM) and maintaining the security of vulnerable maritime traffic.
The Operational Headquarters (OHQ) is based at Rota Naval Base, in Spain. Over 8.000 Spanish troops have served in this operation for over eleven years.