Spain: BAM Tornado Presented with Battle Ensign
The Maritime Action Ship (BAM in its Spanish initials) ‘Tornado’ has received the Battle Ensign in the city of Ceuta. The Ensign was presented by the wife of the City Mayor, María Dolores Puya.
The ceremony was presided over by the Fleet Commander (ALFLOT) Admiral Santiago Bolíbar, and the Governor of the Autonomous city of Ceuta. Three platoons from the Navy, Army and Marine Corps also attended and honored the ceremony. Two Spanish Navy vessels were present in the Dock ‘España’ where the ceremony took place: the OPV ‘Infanta Elena’ and the patrol boat P-114.
Once the Ensign was blessed by the military chaplain, the sponsor Mrs. María Dolores Puya presented the flag to the Commanding Officer of the ship, Lieutenant-Commander Eduardo Guitian.
Subsequently, the anchored ships present in the dock saluted the ‘Tornado’ with a gun salvo while the Commanding Officer hoisted the Ensign assisted by his Navigation Officer.
To conclude the ceremony, the Army music band played the National Anthem and the honors company marched past the Battle Ensign hoisted on board the maritime action ship. The sponsor accompanied by the Fleet Commander boarded the ship, greeted the crew and signed in the guest book.
Maritime Action Ship (Buque de Acción Marítima – BAM) ‘Tornado’
The oceanic patrol vessel ‘Tornado’ with hull number P-44 is the fourth and last ‘Meteoro’-class ship. Her home port is Las Palmas.
The ship was commissioned on May 5th 2010 and launched on March 21st 2011 in San Fernando (Cadiz). During the following year the P-44 underwent a series of sea trials, an endurance cruise and other combat certification tests. The vessel is now fully operational.
The BAM ‘Tornado’ is scheduled to integrate into operation ‘Atalanta’ next November to fight piracy in the Indian Ocean.
These oceanic patrol vessels have been designed to carry out all sorts of military missions against conventional or asymmetric threats, including naval presence (deterrence), surveillance (prevention) and limited actions (neutralization).
Additionally, the ship will be tasked with the protection of national maritime interests, constabulary missions in collaboration with other State Security departments, search and rescue (SAR) missions, and preventing and fighting marine pollution.
The ‘Tornado’ is the second Spanish Navy ship with that name. The previous one was a 19th century propeller corvette first deployed in Havana (Cuba) and then operated by the Torpedo School. After her decommissioning the corvette was used from 1898 to 1938 as a home and school afloat for Navy orphans.
Press Release, September 5, 2013; Image: Spanish Navy