On 21 October, the frigates "Victoria" and "Navarra", belonging to the 41st Escort Squadron, arrived in the port of Suda, on the island of Crete, to take over from Operation ATALANTA.
The frigate "Navarra" ends its participation in the operation after more than four months deployed in the Indian Ocean. During this period, in which it has sailed more than 25,000 miles, it has contributed to security in one of the areas with the highest maritime traffic in the world. It has also participated in the control of illegal activities, supporting the countries of the region in strengthening their own security capabilities.
The "Victoria" joined Operation ATALANTA after crossing the Suez Canal, the 21st time that a frigate of the 41st Escort Squadron has been integrated as part of the European Union Naval Force.
During their mission, the frigates have on board an Embarked Air Unit, composed of a "Scan Eagle" UAV and an AB-212 helicopter from the Navy's Aircraft Flotilla, a ROLE 2 medical team with surgical capabilities, and a Special Operations team.
Spain is the only EU country that has participated continuously in Operation ATALANTA, which emerged in response to the Somali piracy crisis in 2008. It is currently trying to establish a secure maritime environment in the Western Indian Ocean, fighting piracy and armed robbery at sea, providing protection to World Food Programme and United Nations (WFP) vessels, and monitoring illegal activities such as drug and arms trafficking.