New Aircraft Team Takes Over African Counter-Piracy Ops

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On Tuesday 25 November the outgoing 20th Spanish Maritime Patrol Aircraft Contingent held a Transfer of Authority (TOA) ceremony with the 21st Contingent team to hand over their counter-piracy duties in the Horn of Africa. The ceremony took place at the French Air Base in Djibouti.

The military ceremony was presided over by the Spanish Ambassador in Djibouti HE Mr Miguel Fernández-Palacios Martínez. He was accompanied by the Chief of Resources & Logistics of the Air Combat Command, Colonel Rafael García Hernández.

The event was also attended by HE Ambassador of the European Union, Mr Joseph Silva, the Commander of the French Air Base 188, Colonel Nicolas Leverrier and Commanding Officer of the Spanish frigate, ESPS Navarra, Commander Alejandro Cuerda Lorenzo.

During the ceremony the Spanish Ambassador highlighted the excellent contribution that the Spanish Orion Detachment has made in combating piracy off the coast of Somalia as part of the EU Naval Force, Operation Atalanta.

The in-coming air contingent, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel F. Javier Alameda, is returning to the EU Naval Force after 9 months, with the Spanish Air Force CN-235 Vigma aircraft that is replacing the P3M Orion.

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Press release, Image: EUNAVFOR

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