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ESPS ‘Relámpago’ set off a surveillance patrol in the Canary Islands

In Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
March 22, 2022
  • The Navy ship is integrated in the Maritime Operational Command (MOM) under the operational control of the Operations Command (MOPS)

Maritime Action Vessel (BAM) 'Relámpago' set sail, from its home port in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, to conduct a routine patrol in waters of the Canary Islands until the end of March. The deployment is part of the Armed Forces' permanent operations, mainly aimed at guaranteeing the security of maritime areas of national interest and jurisdiction, for which the vessel will be integrated in the Maritime Operational Command, under the operational control of the Operations Command (MOPS).

Among the tasks of BAM 'Relámpago' is the control and verification of maritime traffic, the supervision of the fishing activity, the protection of the maritime lines of communication, the monitoring of both the Spanish underwater patrimony and the areas of special conservation in the Canary Islands, all of this in coordination and permanent monitoring from the Maritime Action Operations and Surveillance Centre (COVAM) in Cartagena.

Maritime Operational Command (MOM)

MOM is the organisation of the operational structure of the Armed Forces, subordinate to the Chief of Defence Staff (CHOD), responsible for planning, conducting and monitoring 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) based in Cartagena.

Armed Forces' Standing Operations

Standing Operations are an effective tool for maintaining surveillance of sovereign spaces, enabling early threat detection and enabling an immediate and effective response to a potential crisis.

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

BAM 'Relampago' (P43)

The Maritime Action Vessel 'Relámpago' is the third 'Meteoro' class vessel. Its homeport is the Arsenal of Las Palmas (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria). The ship was launched on October 6th, 2010 and came into service on February 6th 2012. It is been deployed three times in Operation 'ATALANTA', in the Indian Ocean, in support of the World Food Programme and in several national and international exercises.

Maritime Action Vessels (BAM) are designed to carry out maritime security missions, protection of national maritime interests and control of areas of sovereignty and national interest, as well as maritime police missions, in collaboration with State Security Forces and Corps at sea, such as operations against drug trafficking or terrorism. In addition to these, they also carry out missions of control and protection of maritime traffic surveillance and control of fishing and fight against maritime pollution.