OPV Centinela Embarks on West African Mission

The Spanish offshore patrol vessel (OPV) Centinela set sail from Ferrol to conduct a series of activities with regional navies as part of the Defense Diplomacy Plan and a follow-on of the Africa Partnership Station (APS) initiative.

These deployments are intended to enhance maritime security and cooperative security operations in West Africa and the Gulf of Guinea, organized by the Ministry of Defense, the Chief of the Defense Staff (JEMAD) and the Spanish Navy. The Centinela will relieve the OPV Vencedora deployed in the area during the first six months of 2015.

The deployment will be divided into three stages: the first one, until mid-October, includes the transit to the Gulf of Guinea and cooperation tasks with the Senegalese Navy. The second stage includes cooperative activities with Ghana: counter-terrorism, illegal trafficking, counter-piracy, etc. The joint operations are intended to enhance the maritime situational awareness and to contribute to counter those threats. The third and final stage will be conducted in Cape Verde; cooperation activities with its navy including joint surveillance of sovereign maritime areas. Other activities will be carried out with the Mauritanian Navy: fisheries control, search and rescue, fight against illegal activities and illegal immigration.

The Centinela will support the Defense Diplomacy Plan intended to cooperate with regional west-African nations to help them enhance their capabilities and to foster mutual understanding and confidence, thus contributing to maritime security.

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Image: Spanish Navy