BAM 'Relámpago' completes its deployment in the Gulf of Guinea -under national operational control of the Operations Command- after having spent almost four months strengthening the Spanish maritime presence in the region. It has carried out military cooperation activities with the navies of the neighbouring countries and has supported the various Spanish diplomatic delegations.
Since its departure from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on 28 August, BAM 'Relámpago' has visited the ports of Dakar, Douala, Lagos, Abidjan, Luanda, Nouakchott and Praia, completing military cooperation activities along with joint patrols. BAM Relampago also escorted vessels with national links and provided health assistance to the Spanish fishing fleet. In addition, the 'Relámpago' has supported diplomatic delegations with the aim of strengthening the Spanish presence in the region.
Military Cooperation Activities.
Military Cooperation Activities with coastal countries have focused, among others, on the areas of Maritime Interdiction, Counter Piracy, Health, and Diving. In addition, joint patrols and joint training exercises at sea have been conducted with the national navies of Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Angola, Nigeria and Mauritania.
Coordinated Maritime Presences.
The deployment of the 'Relampago' in the Gulf of Guinea has been carried out under the framework of the "Coordinated Maritime Presences of the European Union" with the objective of promoting cooperation between the European Union and the West and Central African States.
Within the CMP framework, the 'Relámpago' participated in the multinational exercises 'NEMO 22.4' and 'GANO 22', focused on increasing maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea by developing scenarios that allowed the coastal countries to practice their joint response procedures in response to different threats in the area.
During the stopover in Praia (Cape Verde), the ship was visited by a delegation from the European Union headed by the ambassador, Nicolás Berlanga Martínez.
Among the multiple joint patrols carried out during the deployment, the cooperation with the American ship USS "Hersel Woody Williams" should be highlighted.The SH-60F helicopter belonging to the BAM "Relámpago" underwent day and night certification of its flight deck, being the first foreign helicopter to certify a US Navy flight deck.
Another important task carried out by the 'Relámpago' throughout this deployment was the support given to Spanish diplomatic delegations in their efforts to increase Spain's influence in the region and to promote the positive perception of our country on the African continent. Among other authorities, all the Spanish ambassadors in the visited countries were received on board, as well as consuls, Ministers of Defence, Secretaries of State, National Directors, military authorities and defence attachés. Support was also provided to the Navantia industrial delegation.
OPV ‘Relámpago’ (P-43)
The maritime action ship "Relámpago" left its port base in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on August 28th to join the deployment of Coordinated Maritime Presences along the coasts of West Africa and the Gulf of Guinea in order to improve maritime security in the area, thus reinforcing Spanish interests in the region.