The DAT Orion has commemorated the Armed Forces Day with a military parade. It took place at the French Base BA188 in Djibouti, from where the Spanish contingent of the "Orion" air tactical detachment operates the P-3 Orion reconnaissance and maritime patrol aircraft of the Spanish Air Force.
The ceremony was presided over by the Spanish Ambassador to Ethiopia, Djibouti and Seychelles, Manuel Salazar Palma, and was attended by various military authorities of foreign forces also operating in Djibouti.
After the raising of the flag, the Air Force anthem was played, and honours were paid to the soldiers who gave their lives in the service of Spain.
The European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) patrols a wide area between the Gulf of Aden and the Seychelles.
The main objective of the operation is maritime presence and surveillance in the western Indian Ocean, especially for UN World Food Programme vessels. In addition, it also provides protection to fishing vessels operating in this area, controlling the ports and bases from which pirates operate and neutralising the mother ships they use to reach the high seas.
The presence of the Spanish Air Force, under the operational control of the Operations Command, and within the framework of the European Union's Operation Atlanta, is made up of a P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft and 59 military personnel, deployed continuously in Djibouti since the beginning of the operation in 2008.
The work carried out by the Spanish aircraft and its capability is highly appreciated and valued by the operation's command for various reasons: its speed, autonomy and possibilities for detection and tracking. Furthermore, the information it generates and distributes to both the command post and the surface units is a key element in the planning, decision-making and execution of Operation Atalanta.