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ESPS 'Tornado' begins its participation in the African Deployment

In the Gulf of Guinea
March 7, 2022
  • The ship departs for Dakar (Senegal) to take part in the exercise 'Obangame Express 22'

The maritime action vessel (BAM) 'Tornado' begins today its participation in the African Deployment operation, directed by the Commander of the Operations Command (CMOPS) and conducted by the Commander of the Maritime Operational Command (CMOM). Its mission will be to conduct maritime surveillance activities, build the capacity of coastal states and support defence diplomacy with the aim of strengthening regional maritime security and reinforcing Spain's presence.

The African continent, its west coast and the Gulf of Guinea region in particular, is an area of priority interest for Spain, where the Spanish Armed Forces have maintained an intermittent presence for years, demonstrating Spain's commitment to the security and stability of this region.

The 'Tornado' will join the exercise 'Obangame Express 22', a multidisciplinary exercise led by the United States Naval Forces in Africa, with the aim of developing and consolidating activities related to maritime security with all the actors involved in the region.

This exercise seeks to fulfil the Yaoundé Code of Conduct, which establishes the maritime security framework in West Africa and the Gulf of Guinea in 2013, as well as to develop and increase the capacity of the different countries that integrate it (Senegal, Portugal, Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea Bissau) and the establishment of a joint working framework that allows for practice in all the different external threat scenarios.

Maritime Operational Command (MOM)

Spanish MOM is the organization of the operational structure of the Armed Forces, subordinate to the Chief of Defence Staff (CHOD), responsible for the planning, conduct and monitoring of surveillance and security operations in maritime areas of sovereignty, responsibility and national interest. It is under the command of the Admiral of Maritime Action (ALMART) and is based in Cartagena.

Permanent Operations

Permanent Operations are an effective tool for maintaining surveillance of sovereign spaces, which allows for the early detection of threats and facilitates an immediate and viable response to a potential crisis.

The traditional Land Operational Commands (MOT), Maritime (MOM), Aerospace (MOA) and the recently created Cyberspace (MOC) make up the structure of Permanent Commands. On a daily basis, there are about 3,000 Armed Forces personnel involved in permanent operations, under the operational control of the Operations Command.

About the Maritime Action Vessel 'Tornado'

The BAM 'Tornado', commanded by Lieutenant Commander Felipe Areal Fernández, was built as the fourth maritime action vessel of the 'Meteoro' class by Navantia, in San Fernando (Cádiz) and delivered to the Navy in 2012. It is currently based at the Arsenal of Las Palmas de Gran Canarias.