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The offshore patrol vessel 'Vigía' begins its participation in permanent surveillance and deterrence operations

In the south of the Iberian Peninsula
April 19, 2022
  • The Navy vessel will carry out maritime surveillance work in the waters of the Strait of Gibraltar

The offshore patrol vessel 'Vigía' has left the Puntales Naval Station (Cádiz), its home port, to join the Permanent Surveillance and Deterrence Operations. For this mission, the vessel is integrated into the Maritime Operational Command (MOM) under the operational control of the Operations Command (MOPS).

The patrol vessel will operate in the waters south of the Iberian Peninsula, in the Atlantic, western Mediterranean and Alboran Sea, where it will be present in Spanish sovereign waters near the rock of Alhucemas, the islands of La Gomera, Chafarinas , Alboran and Algeciras Bay, as well as in a wide area of the Spanish coastline.

Among its main tasks, the 'Vigía' will carry out activities of verification and control of maritime traffic and protection of the most important maritime lines of communication in the south of the peninsula, which connect the capes of San Vicente and Gata through the Strait of Gibraltar. In addition, the vessel will carry out surveillance work in the Special Environmental Protection Areas (ZEC in Spanish) and Sites of Community Importance (LIC in Spanish) along the coast of the southern peninsular.

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.

El patrullero 'Vigía'

The 'Vigía' (P-73) is the third patrol boat of the 'Serviola' class. It was built in the shipyards of the former Bazán company (now Navantia) and delivered to the Navy on 23 March 1993. Since then and to date, it has carried out a multitude of missions, including maritime and fishing surveillance, participation in national and multinational exercises, collaboration with other state bodies and ship escorts.

It is specially designed to navigate at sea for prolonged periods of time and in heavy seas without significant degradation of its capabilities. It has a flight deck that allows it to operate medium-sized helicopters, an eight-bed hospital and two semi-rigid vessels. It is manned by 47 navy personnel, including officers, non-commissioned officers and sailors.