Spanish Navy’s Tornado departs on African deployment

Spanish Navy’s maritime action vessel (BAM) Tornado started ts participation in the African Deployment operation, directed by the Commander of the Operations Command (CMOPS) and conducted by the Commander of the Maritime Operational Command (CMOM) on 7 March.

As informed, the vessel’s mission will be to conduct maritime surveillance activities, build the capacity of coastal states and support defence diplomacy.

Credit: Spanish Navy

“The African continent, its west coast and the Gulf of Guinea region in particular, is an area of priority interest for Spain, where the Spanish Armed Forces have maintained an intermittent presence for years, demonstrating Spain’s commitment to the security and stability of this region,” the Spanish Navy stated.

During the deployment, Tornado will also participate join the exercise Obangame Express 22 in Senegal.

Obangame Express 2022 (OE22), the largest multinational maritime exercise in Western Africa, will kick off on 11 March.

With 32 participating nations, OE22 is designed to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness (MDA), information-sharing practices, and tactical interdiction operations. It is sponsored by US Africa Command (AFRICOM).

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“This exercise seeks to fulfil the Yaoundé Code of Conduct, which establishes the maritime security framework in West Africa and the Gulf of Guinea in 2013, as well as to develop and increase the capacity of the different countries,” according to the navy.

Spanish MOM is the organization of the operational structure of the Armed Forces, subordinate to the Chief of Defence Staff (CHOD), responsible for the planning, conduct and monitoring of surveillance and security operations in maritime areas of sovereignty, responsibility and national interest.

It is under the command of the Admiral of Maritime Action (ALMART) and is based in Cartagena.

The vessel Tornado was built as the fourth maritime action vessel of the Meteoro-class by Navantia, in San Fernando (Cádiz) and delivered to the navy in 2012.

It is currently based at the Arsenal of Las Palmas de Gran Canarias.