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Spanish Navy's 'Vigía' carries out exercises along with an Italian Navy figate in waters of the Gulf of Guinea

African Deployment
September 21, 2021
  • Patrol vessel 'Vigía' carries out exercises with the Italian Navy frigate 'Antonio Marceglia' within the framework of the EU 'Coordinated Maritime Presences'

Patrol vessel “Vigía” continues with African Deployment through East Atlantic waters, near Cape Palmas (Liberia) as part of the operational structure of the Armed Forces, under the control of the Operations Command (MOPS) on a operation conducted by the Maritime Operations Command (MOM). It carried out exercises along with the frigate "Antonio Marceglia" of the Italian navy on September 20.

The exercises were of a different nature and covered several capability areas. The main goal covered was the Counter-Piracy area and the testing of command and control systems for the reception and transmission of warning signals to the maritime community operating in the area.  To this end, the Maritime Operations Centres of both countries coordinated a response to the simulated attack and the Spanish Maritime Operations and Surveillance Centre (COVAM) reported the alert signal to the centres belonging to the West African coastal countries.

The exercises have been worth, above all, to highlight the firm commitment of Spain and Italy to the European Union project of 'Coordinated Maritime Presences' (PMC in Spanish). The 'CMP' project, launched in June 2020 by the EU Council, aims to increase the Union's capability in the field of Maritime Security in one of the areas with the highest density of global maritime traffic.

The vessel started its deployment in mid-June this year and the ship will dock in Dakar (Senegal) after having previously visited Nouadhibou (Mauritania), Praia (Cape Verde), Tema (Ghana), Lagos (Nigeria), Pointe-Noire (Republic of Congo) and Luanda (Angola).

Maritime Operational Command (MOM)

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