The transfer of authority of EUNAVFOR Somalia (FHQ) -Operation 'Atalanta' has already taken place on board the frigate 'Santa María' docked in the port of Djibouti. The ceremony was attended by the Operational Commander, Vice Admiral Jose María Núñez Torrente, who is in command from the Operation Headquarters (OHQ) at the Rota Naval Base.
During the ceremony, Admiral Rui Miguel Marcelo Correia, belonging to the '41st rotation', handed over to his Portuguese counterpart, Admiral Nuno Filipe Cortes Lopes, the flag of the European Union, as a symbolic act of the beginning of the next rotation.
The '41st rotation' had two Spanish flagships, the frigate 'Numancia' and the frigate 'Santa Maria', which have demonstrated Spain's commitment to Europe in order to improve maritime security structures in the Indian Ocean, thus ensuring stability in the Horn of Africa area.
Once the Force Commander of the '42 rotation' is on board, the frigate 'Santa Maria' will remain in the area until mid-February to continue its primary mission of protecting World Food Programme (WFP) ships and other vulnerable vessels from pirate attacks, as well as monitoring other illicit activities.