The maritime action ship (BAM) “Meteoro”, based in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, has left on April 1 of the Military Arsenal to join the Atalanta operation to fight piracy in the Indian Ocean. The ceremony on board was presided over by the Commander of the Naval Command of the Canary Islands, Rear Admiral Juan L. Sobrino Pérez-Crespo.
The deployment of the “Meteor” is part of the commitment acquired by Spain in 2008, under the banner of the European Union, in its fight to maintain security in the waters of the Gulf of Aden and Somalia, protecting both merchant and fishing traffic that work in those waters.
The Navy has participated in this initiative, in collaboration with the General Secretariat of Defense Policy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The vessel has previously participated in this operation in the years 2013 and 2015.
The patrolman, counts for this occasion with an endowment of 50 sailors, 4 of reinforcement, 17 of the embarked air unit (UNAEMB), 11 of Operative Safety Equipment (EOS), and in Djibouti embark, in addition, a linguistic officer of the marine of that country.
The “Meteor”, commanded by the captain of corvette Juan Miguel Evangelista Pintado, is the first of the Maritime Action Vessels (BAM) of the “Meteor” class, configured as an oceanic patrol boat.
The BAM program is based on high-performance vessels, reduced acquisition and maintenance costs and a high level of versatility, not only in the military field but also in cooperation in rescue tasks, fight against pollution, evacuation and assistance humanitarian
Mission Operation Atalanta
Atalanta’s mission is to protect maritime traffic in the western Indian Ocean from pirate attacks, especially ships of the UN World Food Program. Also protect the fishermen so that they can fish safely in those waters, control the ports and bases from where the pirates act and neutralize the motherships they use to reach the high seas.
The European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) patrol a large area between the Gulf of Aden and the Sychelles Islands. Although its composition varies, as a general rule it has between four and seven ships and between two and four maritime patrol aircraft.