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‘Atalaya’ returns to the base port after carrying out a new maritime surveillance and security mission

In Ferrol
September 3, 2021
  • The Navy vessel carried out surveillance and maritime security tasks to ensure the security of maritime areas of sovereignty and national interest

After more than 2,900 miles sailed, spread over fifteen voyages in the second half of August, the oceanic patrol vessel “Atalaya” has returned to its home port in Ferrol. During the navigation, the ship executed its naval presence in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and the Mediterranean peninsular coast, within the Armed Forces standing operations. The maritime security operation took place with the ship as part of the Maritime Operational Command (MOM in Spanish) and under the control of the Operations Command (MOPS in Spanish).

Furthermore, the ‘Atalaya’ has been an associated support to NATO's “Sea Guardian” operation, consisting of the control and protection of the most important maritime communication lines in the area to prevent illegal trafficking and activities, in coordination with the Maritime Action Operations and Surveillance Centre (COVAM in Spanish). During this period, the vessel carried out data verification of more than 100 merchant vessels and 40 fishing vessels.

During the surveillance period, the ‘Atalaya’ docked at the port of Ceuta, carrying out a naval presence in the Spanish autonomous city.

Maritime Operational Command (MOM)

MOM is part of the operational structure of the Armed Forces, reporting to the Chief of Defence Staff, and it is responsible for planning, conducting and monitoring maritime surveillance and security operations. It is under the command structure of the Admiral of Maritime Action (ALMART in Spanish), vice admiral Juan Luis Sobrino Pérez-Crespo and it is based in Cartagena.

Standing operations

Standing operations are an effective tool to ensure the surveillance of sovereign spaces, which allows for an early detection of threats and allows for an immediate and effective response in the event of a potential crisis.

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

About the oceanic patrol vessel ‘Atalaya’

The oceanic patrol boat ‘Atalaya’ is one of the main surveillance units of the Navy's Maritime Action Force. Its main missions include, among others, the maritime surveillance of the Spanish coasts and its exclusive economic zone, the protection of maritime traffic lines and critical infrastructures and the contribution to activities against terrorism and illicit trafficking by sea.

The ‘Atalaya’, commanded by Lieutenant Commander Rubén Correa Papín, is the fourth and last unit of the “Serviola”-class and its home port is in Ferrol.