BAC Cantabria Arrives in La Graña Naval Station
The auxiliary oil replenishment ship (BAC in its Spanish initials) ‘Cantabria’ has just arrived at La Graña Naval Station after a ten-day deployment off the coast of Cádiz, training with other Spanish Navy units.
On June 17th the ‘Cantabria’ set sail towards Rota for a threefold mission: to collaborate with the Operational Qualification testing of the frigate ‘Navarra’, to start training activities with Aircraft Flotilla helicopters and to participate in the training exercise MAR-42 with the ‘Santa María’-class frigates.
During the weekend the ship docked in Rota Naval Base to load aircraft fuel and train with flight personnel from the different helicopter squadrons.
In the course of the following days, the ‘Cantabria’ intensified the training activities at sea on Damage Control and Flight operations. To this end, the ship was assisted by the CEVACO (Combat Assessment Center).
The busiest day was Tuesday 24th when the ‘Cantabria’ carried out 10 replenishments at sea (RAS); six fuel and four solid cargo replenishments with 4 ‘Santa María’-class frigates from the 41st Escort Squadron, and the F-104 ‘Méndez Núñez’ which also deployed from Ferrol to Cádiz to participate in these maneuvers. The final RAS was conducted at the same time that a flight operation was in progress with a helicopter from amphibious assault ship ‘Castilla’.
Before returning to her home port, the ‘Cantabria’ certified her TACAN (Tactical Air Navigation System) in collaboration with the frigate ‘Reina Sofía’ and the Calibration Team from the Air Force Group 47.
During the cruise back to Ferrol, the ‘Cantabria’ continued with other training activities on board and also conducted a further RAS with the German Navy replenishment ship ‘Berlin’. But on this occasion, the ‘Cantabria’ performed for the first time as a fuel receiving vessel.
For this deployment, 13 midshipmen from the Naval Academy embarked to start their scheduled training with Fleet units.
Press Release, June 30, 2014; Image: Spanish Navy