The OPV 'Tornado' has been docked in the port of Lagos for a two-day stopover. This is the first time that this Navy vessel has called at Lagos.
On its arrival, the Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria, Juan Ignacio Sell Sanz, was welcome on board with the traditional 'salute to the voice', visit and subsequent signature in the ship's Book of Honour. This is the second time that the OPV 'Tornado' has rendered honours to the ambassador during its deployment, as it was the second time he was accredited in Benin, when the OPV called at Cotonou, in mid-September.
Activities carried out in port
The OPV 'Tornado' has welcomed several meetings on board over the last few days to encourage the meeting of numerous local and international military authorities. The ship made its platform available for events on board, notably the presence of the Spanish ambassador to Nigeria, local authorities and embassies of other countries. These events strengthen Spain's international ties with the countries bordering the Gulf of Guinea.
The Spanish ambassador, the commander and a representation of the ship's crew attended Headquarters Western Naval Command, the Naval Base of the Nigerian Navy. They were received by the Admiral of the base and took the opportunity to explain the mission of the BAM 'Tornado' and to thank the reception to this country. The ship's crew takes advantage of these events to establish relations based on mutual trust, allowing an increase in international maritime security.
Reception on board
The OPV 'Tornado' hosted a reception on board chaired by the Spanish ambassador to Nigeria and attended by numerous guests, including embassy staff and local military and civilian authorities. The event began with the traditional solemn lowering of the ship's flag by the military guard, followed by words of thanks and welcome from the Spanish ambassador. The first landfall in Lagos, Nigeria, of the OPV "Tornado", reinforced by the presence on board of the Spanish Ambassador, contributes to the State's external action and projects a strong message of our country's commitment to the countries bordering the Gulf of Guinea.
To conclude the activities with the Nigerian Navy, a combined patrol between the two navies took place when the ship set sail. After leaving the port of Lagos, and within Nigerian territorial waters, maritime exercises and a boarding exercise were carried out with two units of the Nigerian Navy. For the boarding exercise, one of the Nigerian units, the NNS "Kada", was planned to simulate a vessel that had been pirated. Personnel from the Spanish Navy's Operational Security Team, together with the Nigerian Navy's Special Operations Unit, formed the boarding team and assaulted the ship, which in the exercise required the assistance of these personnel. The exercise, carried out in a safe and satisfactory manner, has allowed for bilateral knowledge and learning between both navies and the opportunity for both teams to cooperate united for a common goal, maritime surveillance and security.