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Oceanic patrol vessel 'Atalaya' returns to its base port after fulfilling a maritime surveillance and security mission

October 1, 2022
  • The Navy ship has guaranteed the security of maritime spaces of sovereignty and national interest

Oceanic patrol vessel "Atalaya" returned to its base port in Ferrol after sailing more than 2,565 miles, spread over 15 voyages, and having carried out a maritime surveillance and security operation in areas of national interest, integrated into the Maritime Operations Command (MOM) under operational control of the Operations Command (MOPS), within the Armed Forces’ standing operations.

The ship carried out naval presence in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the Mediterranean peninsular coast, as well as protection of the underwater archaeological heritage and control of fishing in Spanish waters.

'Atalaya' patrol boat also acted as a supporting element associated to NATO's 'Sea Guardian' operation, to contribute to the control and protection of the most important maritime lines of communication in the area to prevent illicit traffic and activities, all in coordination with the Maritime Action Operations and Surveillance Center (COVAM in Spanish), located in Cartagena. During this period, the ship verified information in respect of over 194 merchant ships and 32 fishing vessels.

OPV 'Atalaya' made landfall for the first time, in its 30 years of history, at the “Graneles” dock in the port of Motril, where it was visited by the Town Mayor. Open days were held in Motril with great attendance by the population. 

Maritime Operational Command (MOM)

The Maritime Operational Command is the body within the operational structure of the Armed Forces, subordinated to the Chief of Defence, 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 for Maritime Action (ALMART) based in Cartagena.

Surveillance and deterrence Standing Operations

Surveillance and deterrence 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.

About the oceanic patrol vessel ‘Atalaya’

The oceanic patrol vessel ‘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.

OPV ‘Atalaya’, commanded by Lieutenant Commander Ramón José de Leste de León, is the fourth and last unit of the “Serviola”-class and its home port is in Ferrol.