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Periodista del EMAD

The frigate 'Reina Sofia' successfully evacuates 162 people in Port Sudan

At sea
May 8, 2023
  • The Navy ship evacuated by sea the civilians, among whom there is no Spanish citizen, to the port of Jeddah

The frigate 'Reina Sofia', part of Operation 'Atalanta' was operating in the vicinity of Port Sudan, in accordance with the mandate of the European Union on the conduct of maritime security operations.

On April 27th it began to monitor the activity with all its available means, air and surface, and was ordered to carry out an exhaustive planning in order to be able to respond to a possible request for action from the EU. Finally this request materialized to proceed with the extraction of civilian personnel from Sudan. Spain responded affirmatively to this request by sending the frigate 'Reina Sofia' and activating the operations center of the Operations Command to conduct the rescue.

Last Thursday, May 4, the frigate entered Port Sudan, maintaining a high degree of self-protection. The "Force Protection" team provided the ship with all the necessary means of surveillance and weapons to guarantee its safety. Throughout the entire stay in port, this team remained activated to provide coverage to the evacuated personnel during their extraction.

On Friday, May 5, the evacuation took place from the hotel that served as a meeting point for the civilian personnel who were to be transferred to the frigate. Once on board, and after the identification and classification process, they were offered medical assistance in case they needed it, their documentation was corroborated and all their needs for accommodation on board were covered.

In the afternoon, the ship went to sea, sailing towards the port of Jeddah at high speed, taking full advantage of the platform's capabilities, in order to disembark the personnel in a matter of hours so that they could reach their destination as soon as possible.

The frigate Reina Sofia was deployed as command ship for Operation Atalanta since February 15. It has multiple capabilities that make it ideal for an operation of this kind, which is carried out in response to a crisis and which may entail a certain risk for both the military and the evacuated personnel:

  • Embarked Air Unit composed of an AB212 helicopter from the Third Squadron that allows for tactical troop transport, fire support and medical evacuation if necessary.
  • An Embarked Aerial Unit composed of ScanEagle UAVs from the Eleventh Squadron, which allows for the identification, surveillance and reconnaissance of targets of interest and support to Special Operations units.
  • A Maritime Special Operations Tactical Unit of the Special Naval Warfare Force that is capable of performing all Special Operations tasks, both the main Direct Action, Reconnaissance and Special Surveillance and Military Assistance tasks, as well as the additional tasks of extraction of non-combatant personnel from conflict zones (Operation NEO) or Hostage Rescue.
  • ROLE 2F Treatment Medical Formation with surgical capability for damage control surgery. During Operation NEO, another room on the ship was provided with the capacity to operate on two people simultaneously.