February 5, 2019 (Google Translation) – On Monday, February 4, the Maritime Action Ship (BAM) “Rayo”, departed from its base in the Military Arsenal of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to join the Operation “Sophia” in the southern central Mediterranean.
The farewell ceremony on the deck of the ship was presided by the Commander of the Naval Command of the Canary Islands, Rear Admiral Juan L. Sobrino Pérez-Crespo, who delivered a farewell address to the ship’s crew. It was also attended by numerous relatives and friends of the crew that came to say goodbye.
The deployment of the “Rayo” is part of the commitment acquired by Spain in 2015, under the banner of the European Union, to fight against trafficking networks, prevent irregular migration flows and prevent more people from dying at sea.
The “Rayo” will participate for the first time in this operation, being also the first vessel based in the Canary Islands to integrate into “Sophia”, having planned to relieve the frigate “Reina Sofia” on the 15th of February in the port of Catania .
For the development of its tasks, the ship has gone to sea with a crew of 58 people, a complement that will be complemented in Rota with an intelligence analyst; an embarked air crew consisting of twelve people belonging to the third squadron of Navy aircraft; and an Operational Security Team of Marine Infantry composed of 11 members belonging to the Tercio de Armada. The capabilities of the ship will be complemented by a helicopter from the Navy Aircraft Fleet.