On Thursday 21 July at 11:00 local time, the P-3 'Orion' maritime patrol aircraft landed at Djibouti International Airport. With the engine shutdown, the aircraft reached 14,000 flight hours in the European Union's EUNAVFOR Atalanta anti-piracy operation.
This milestone has been achieved thanks to the efforts of all the men and women who have formed part of the different contingents up to the current one, the 43rd, which began its mission in mid-May and is scheduled to finish in mid-September.
The P-3 maritime patrol aircraft, belonging to the 22nd Group, based in Morón de la Frontera (Seville), is nearing the end of its operational life, which is scheduled for December.
Since 2008, Spain has maintained a maritime patrol aircraft permanently based in Djibouti. With this unceasing activity, a 100% success rate has been achieved by providing protection to the World Food Programme (WFP) ships that provide aid to Somali people, as well as to the ships of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which are fundamental to the success of the operation. It has also contributed to the deterrence, prevention and repression of piracy acts and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia.
Operation Atalanta is part of the commitment made by Spain, under the flag of the European Union, in its fight to maintain maritime security off the coast of Somalia and neighbouring countries in the Indian Ocean region.
Since the entry into force of Decision (CFSP) 2020/2018, which extends the mandate of Operation Atalanta, certain tasks such as illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and trafficking in drugs, arms and charcoal have been included, reinforcing Atalanta's role as a factor of maritime security in the area and based on its success in the fight against piracy and the protection of WFP ships and other vulnerable vessels.