Spanish amphibious assault ship to become counter-piracy operation’s flagship

Spanish Navy’s amphibious assault ship ESPS Galicia departed the navy base Rota to join the European Union counter-piracy operation Atalanta in the Indian Ocean.

Galicia will serve as the operation’s flagship hosting Spanish Navy Rear-Admiral Rafael Fernández-Pintado and his staff.

This is the fourth time the Galicia (L-51) participates in the 2008-initiated counter-piracy operation and the second time as command ship.

For this mission, the ship has embarked two SH-3D helicopters and four remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) as well as a Marine Corps Special Operations squad.

The landing platform dock (LPD) is an amphibious assault ship built by Navantia in 1997 and delivered to the Spanish Navy on April 29, 1998.

The L-51 has participated in many national and international missions, among them, Operation Libre Hidalgo (2006) in support of the UN peace-keeping mission in the Lebanon and, as explained above, Operation Atalanta on three previous occasions (2010, 2011 and 2015).

LPDs are designed to carry troops and vehicles for amphibious operations and can also operate helicopters from their aft flight deck. They regularly participate in humanitarian aid and peace-keeping missions providing support and medical assistance.