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Offshore patrol vessel 'Tornado' starts its maritime surveillance operations activation

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
July 12, 2022
  • During the month of July, the Navy ship will carry out maritime surveillance activities in the waters of the Canary Islands archipelago

Offshore patrol vessel (OPV) 'Tornado' set sail from its base in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to carry out maritime surveillance operations in the waters of the Canary Islands, as part of the Armed Forces’ Standing Operations.

Offshore patrol vessels, as part of the Maritime Operations Command, under the operational control of the Operations Command (MOPS in Spanish), in addition to maritime surveillance missions, they carry out maritime security missions, protection of national maritime interests and control of sovereignty and national interest areas. They also take part in joint missions along with State Law Enforcement Bodies at sea, such as operations against drug trafficking or terrorism. Other duties would include the control of maritime traffic, protection of merchant traffic, surveillance and control of fishing and fight against maritime pollution.

During the activation, the 'Tornado' plans to call at its base port, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria between the 16th and 17th, where the “Virgen del Carmen”, Patron Saint of the Navy, will be honoured.

This will be a special navigation for the crew of the 'Tornado', considering that the ship will celebrate, at sea, 10 years servicing Spain and the Navy, since it entered service on July 19, 2012.

Offshore patrol vessel 'Tornado', commanded by Lieutenant Commander Felipe Areal Fernández, is the fourth ship of the 'Meteoro' class; built by Navantia in San Fernando and its crew consist of 42 people.

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. Daily, about 3,000 Armed Forces personnel are involved in permanent operations, under the operational control of the Operations Command.