Operation Atalanta commander visits the mission’s new Spanish warship

Operation Atalanta’s force commander, Commodore Luyckx, who is currently embarked in the EU naval force flagship, HNLMS Tromp, took an opportunity to visit Spanish Navy’s offshore patrol vessel ESPS Relampago as it was conducting her counter-piracy patrols off Somalia.

After being welcomed on board by ESPS Relampago’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Fransisco Garcia Flores, Commodore Luyckx was given a tour of the ship. This is the third time that ESPS Relampago has deployed with Operation Atalanta off the coast of Somalia.

Before returning to the force headquarters aboard the flagship, the force commander spoke to the sailors on the helicopter deck saying: “It is always a pleasure for me to meet Op Atalanta sailors in person so that I can thank you for your hard work and commitment.”

ESPS Relampago joined Operation Atalanta three weeks ago and will stay until the end of February. Speaking about his crew, Lieutenant Commander Fransisco Garcia Flores said: “My sailors and I are very much looking forward to the coming months. We conducted a lot of operational training prior to leaving Spain and we have all the capabilities necessary for this important EU naval operation.”