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The offshore patrol vessel (OPV) ‘Serviola’ conducts Permanent Surveillance and Deterrence Operations

At sea
February 14, 2023
  • The Navy vessel will conduct a surveillance and security patrol in maritime areas under national sovereignty and will stop over in Santander

The offshore patrol vessel 'Serviola', belonging to the Maritime Action Force based at the Ferrol Arsenal, has set sail to begin its role in the Permanent Surveillance and Deterrence Operations of the Armed Forces, integrated in the Maritime Operational Command (MOC), under the control of the Operations Command (MOPS, in Spanish). Its mission includes surveillance and security tasks in maritime areas of sovereignty and national interest in the north of the peninsula, with a presence along the entire Galician and Cantabrian coasts. 'Serviola' is scheduled to stop over in the port of Santander.

Maritime Operational Command (MOC)

The Maritime Operational Command (MOC) is the body of the operational structure of the Armed Forces. It is subordinated to the Chief of Defence Staff (JEMAD, in Spanish) and is responsible for planning, conducting, and monitoring permanent 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) and is based in Cartagena.

Permanent Surveillance and Deterrent Operations

Permanent Surveillance and Deterrence Operations are an effective tool for maintaining surveillance of sovereign spaces, allowing for early detection of threats and facilitating an immediate and viable response to a potential crisis.

The Land, Maritime, Aerospace, and the newly created Cyberspace Operational Commands (COC) make up the Standing Command structure. On a daily basis, some 3,000 Armed Forces personnel are involved in permanent operations, under the control of the Operations Command.

Maritime Action Force (MAF)

The MAF, within the Fleet, is made up of units whose main task is to protect international maritime interests and control maritime spaces of national sovereignty and interest, taking charge, with a comprehensive approach, and ensure permanent cooperation with different bodies of the Administration with powers in the maritime scope. It establishes, therefore, the Navy's involvement in the State's Action at Sea.

"Serviola" is part of the MAF, and its organic command is the Commander of the Maritime Action Force Units in Ferrol, which reports to ALMART.

MAF’s mission is to contribute to State Action at Sea through the protection of national maritime interests and the control of maritime spaces of national sovereignty and interest, thus contributing to activities carried out by the different public administrations with responsibilities in the maritime field.

OPV ‘Serviola’

The OPV "Serviola", commanded by Lieutenant Commander Teodoro Romero de Soto, has a total crew of 7 officers, 10 non-commissioned officers, and 32 sailors.

This vessel is the first of a series of four patrol vessels built for the Spanish Navy in the shipyards of the former Bazán Comapany (now NAVANTIA) in Ferrol in the early 1990s. It was launched in 1990 and delivered to the Navy on 22 March 1991. It has a length of 68.65 metres and a beam of 10.40 metres.

Although its main mission is to carry out maritime surveillance and security operations, it is also used to support other state agencies in the fight against illegal immigration, drug trafficking, and other criminal activities. This offshore patrol vessel is prepared to carry out maritime interdiction operations (visiting, searching and, if necessary, seizing vessels) and to provide aid, rescue and assistance at sea when required.