Spanish frigates alternate in migrant-saving operation Sophia

Spanish Navy’s Santa María-class frigate Navarra departed Naval Base Rota to relieve sister-ship Reina Sofía in EUNAVFOR’s operation Sophia which is a mission to prevent loss of life at sea in the Mediterranean Sea.

The two frigates will meet in Augusta, Italy for the handover ceremony.

Operation Sophia force commander visited Reina Sofía on September 18 for one last time to compliment the crew for the outstanding job done during their deployment.

Operation Sophia is a multinational mission set up by the European Union in May 2015 to thwart the business model of human traffickers off the coast of Libya.

With this mission, the Spanish Navy also participates in the defense and security of Spain beyond its borders, wherever there are sources of instability.

Navarra (F-85) is the fifth unit of the six Santa María-class frigates (FFG) built in Ferrol and delivered to the Spanish Navy in 1993. She is equipped with the necessary sensors and weapons to operate as a blue water escort. Her complement consists of 200 people including the air unit support personnel and a Marine Corps Security Team. The frigate has participated in many international operations, among them the counter-piracy operation Atalanta in the Indian Ocean in 2014.