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Collection of postal votes for the regional and municipal elections on 28M by personnel of the 'Orion' Airborne Detachment.

In Djibouti
May 16, 2023
  • Staff deployed in Djibouti have already exercised their right to vote by post.

Ministry of Defence personnel have travelled to Djibouti to collect the vote of the detachment's personnel. On this occasion, the collection coincided with the arrival of the frigate 'Reina Sofía', which is also part of Operation Atalanta, in the port of Djibouti.

The personnel of the Air and Space Army's 'Orion' Air Tactical Detachment previously requested to be able to vote in the area of operations.

The voting procedure carried out by military personnel when they are deployed on mission and coincides with election periods is identical to that carried out by citizens in Spain when voting by post. Everything is the same except for the peculiarity that it is not the military personnel who must go to a post office, as happens in Spain, but rather it is Ministry of Defence personnel who go to the base of the contingent or to the ship that requires it, to receive the votes of the personnel and then return to national territory, where they are sent to the constituency belonging to the military personnel who cast the vote.

Operation Atalanta', under the flag of the European Union, is part of the commitment acquired by Spain in the fight to maintain maritime security off the coasts of Somalia and neighbouring countries in the Indian Ocean region.

The increase in acts of piracy in the Indian Ocean since 2005 led the UN Security Council to adopt a series of Resolutions to protect maritime traffic in the area. To support these provisions, the Council of the European Union approved, on 10 November 2008, the creation of a naval air force. This was the first EU maritime operation to be conducted in the framework of the CSDP. Shortly afterwards, this operation was launched.

Spain's commitment from the beginning of the operation has been total, materialising in maritime surveillance missions with the aim of preventing and intervening to put an end to acts of piracy and collaborating in the surveillance of illegal activities off the coast of Somalia.

Subsequently, and since the entry into force of Decision (CFSP) 2020/2018, which extends the mandate of Operation Atalanta, the missions entrusted have been expanded to include the surveillance of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and the trafficking of drugs, arms and charcoal, which reinforces Atalanta's role as a factor of maritime security in the area, being key to success in the fight against piracy and the protection of World Food Programme (WFP) vessels and other vulnerable vessels.

The new EU mandate extends the area of operation to the Red Sea and also includes the fight against illegal trafficking and cooperation with other operations.

Spain's permanent contribution consists of the following means:

  • Air and Space Army DAT Orion, equipped with a D-4 VIGMA maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft (MPA version of the CN-235 aircraft) deployed in Djibouti, with 49 military personnel.
  • Navy ships, which have an embarked air unit and operational marine infantry security teams.
  • In March 2019, Spain assumed leadership of 'Operation Atalanta' from the Spanish Headquarters (ES-OHQ) in Rota.
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