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The Spanish Ambassador to Ethiopia, Djibouti and Seychelles visits the Orion detachment

March 21, 2022
  • This detachment is part of the European Union's EUNAVFOR Atalanta

Manuel Salazar Palma, Spanish Ambassador to Ethiopia, Djibouti and Seychelles, travelled to the French Base BA188 where the Orion detachment is deployed. He met with members of this Air Force contingent and had the opportunity to learn about the work that they are carrying out.

During the visit, the Spanish ambassador was accompanied by Col. Enrique Fernandez Ambel, Head of Wing 11, and Lieutenant Colonel Diego Gil Lavado, Head of Group 22. The maritime patrol and surveillance aircraft, P-3 Orion, belong to this unit. Both Colonel Fdez Ambel and Lieutenant Colonel Gil Lavado were at the French base, also visiting the personnel of their unit deployed there.

The Spanish Ambassador ackknowledged the Spanish contingent for its effort, dedication and high professionalism in the performance of daily tasks to ensure that the aerial platform operated from this detachment to carry out the mission entrusted to it.  Operation Atalanta, an EU mission in which the Orion detachment is integrated, works to counter and prevent piracy, and to strengthen maritime security combined in order to provide stability in neighbouring countries such as Somalia and Yemen.

Lieutenant Colonel Miguel Durán Gálvez, head of the Orión detachment, briefed about the mission's objectives and operational details about the detachment, and the transformation to the new missions following the non-extension of UNSCR 2608 (2021), which allowed anti-piracy actions within Somali territorial waters and airspace.

The Spanish ambassador, had the opportunity to fly over the usual area of operation aboard the P3 Orion aircraft.

The diplomat has shown great interest in all the tasks carried out by the Spanish contingent, the only one that has been participating in Operation Atalanta uninterruptedly for the past 14 years. He encouraged them to continue in this direction, and in strengthening maritime security as a whole in order to provide stability in the countries of the region, such as Somalia and Yemen.