Spanish patrol vessel deploys to Africa

Spanish Navy offshore patrol vessel Vigía set sail from Cadiz to conduct a series of activities in Africa as part of the Spanish government’s Defense Diplomacy Plan and a follow-on of the Africa Partnership Station (APS) initiative.

These deployments are intended to enhance maritime security and to carry out 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.

Last year, this deployment was conducted by her sister ship Serviola.

In the course of the four-month deployment, ESPS Vigía will be integrated into the operational structure of the Armed Forces under direct command of the Maritime Security and Surveillance Command.

The deployment will be divided into three stages: the first one, until mid-March, includes the transit to the Gulf of Guinea with cooperative security drills with the Mauritanian and Cape Verdean Navies.

During the second stage the ‘Vigía’ will deploy in the Gulf of Guinea to conduct military support activities with the Navies of Ghana and Cameroon.

The third and final stage will take place in Cape Verde once again with scheduled port calls in the Canary Islands.

The Navantia-built OPV Vigía is under command of Lt-Cdr. Carlos Miguel Abadín and has a crew of 55 servicemen.