Spanish LPD Castilla bags lead role in hostage rescue drill

Spanish Navy’s landing platform dock ‘Castillla’ played a lead role during the country’s recent hostage rescue exercise.

LPD ‘Castilla’ and elements from the Marine Corps Special Naval Warfare Force took part in exercise SOFEX 16, a simulated hostage rescue operation, in Cartagena waters, South East Spain.

The ‘Castilla’ operated as command ship of Navy and Army Special Operations units and as launching platform of the participating helicopters.

On Thursday 16 the ‘Castilla’ was also visited by the acting Minister of Defense, Pedro Morenés who, accompanied by the Chief of the Defense Staff, was toured around the ship and briefed on the rescue operation by the Commanding Officer of the Special Naval Warfare Force.

LPD ‘Castilla’ is a Galicia-class landing platform dock commissioned into active service in 2000. The 160-meter ship has been specially designed to operate as command and control platform of naval operations.

The ‘Castilla’ participated in the humanitarian aid Operation ‘Hispaniola’ in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. In 2012 the ship also took part in the counter-piracy Operation ‘Atalanta’ in the Indian Ocean.