Detachment 'Orion' stationed at the French Base BA188 in Djibouti, hosted the EU's medal parade ceremony in the framework of Operation Atalanta. Spanish personnel belonging to 'Orion' Detachment's 42nd Contingent and OHQ-SEA (Operation Headquarters Support Element Atalanta) have been awarded for their service in this mission.
The ceremony was presided over by the Detachment's Force Commander, lieutenant colonel Miguel Durán Gálvez, who reviewed the Spanish contingent, after being reported by the head of the participating troops.
Thereafter, EU's ribbons were presented to the military members of the contingent. lieutenant colonel Durán Gálvez ackknowledged the awarded personnel and stressed the effort and dedication of all of them. After his speech, the Air Force anthem was played at the end of the ceremony. The Air Force's deployment within the framework of the EUNAVFOR Atlanta, consists oN a P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft and 59 airmen, stationed continuously in Djibouti since the beginning of the operation in 2008.
The European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) patrols a wide area between the Gulf of Aden and the Sychelles islands.
The Operation's main purpose is maritime presence and surveillance in the western Indian Ocean, mainly to assist in the protection of UN World Food Program vessels. Furthermore, it also provides protection to fishing vessels operating in the area, monitoring the ports and bases from which pirates operate and neutralizing mother ships used by pirates to reach open seas.
The information gathered by the Spanish aircraft is sent to the Force Command Headquarters (FHQ), embarked on the command ship, currently the frigate Bergamini, and to the Operation Headquarters (OHQ), at the Rota Naval Base in Cadiz.
The work performed by the Spanish aircraft and its capacity is valued by the operation command for its speed, autonomy and detection and tracking capabilities. In addition, the information generated and distributed both to the command post and to the surface units is a key element in the planning, decision making and execution process of Operation Atalanta.