The Amphibious Assault Ship “Castilla” has sailed July 19th from the Naval Base of Rota to join the operation Atlanta of the European Union whose objective is the fight against piracy in the Indian Ocean, where it will remain until the month of December. The farewell ceremony was presided over by Admiral de la Flota, Juan Rodriguez Garat.
“Castilla” will relieve the Maritime Action Ship “Meteoro” that is currently deployed in the operation since last April.
Two helicopters of the tenth squadron of the Aircraft Fleet (SH60L and SH60F) are on board the “Castilla”, the first being that a helicopter of the SH-60 F type is deployed in operations since its reception in 2017. They complete the providing a Marine Corps security team in addition to a medical team (ROLE-2).
Due to the significant deterioration of maritime security due to acts of piracy, at the beginning of 2008, the international community adopted a series of actions to ensure maritime traffic in the Horn of Africa.
This mission is the first maritime operation in the EU that is carried out within the framework of the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP). The objective of Operation Atalanta is to protect pirates from maritime traffic in the western Indian Ocean, especially ships from the UN World Food Program. It also aims to protect fishing vessels so that they can safely fish in those waters, control the ports and bases from which the pirates operate and neutralize the motherships they use to reach the high seas.
The Spanish Navy is the only one that has contributed permanently to the operation since its inception in 2008, maintaining at least one vessel in the area of operations. Spain also contributes to Operation ATALANTA with the “Orión” Detachment in Djibouti, which has some 50 soldiers.