March 16, 2017 – The Maritime Action Ship (BAM) “Lightning” today arrived at its base in the Military Arsenal of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, completing its deployment in the “Atalanta” operation to combat piracy in the Indian Ocean waters, with the Objective of maintaining security in the waters of the Gulf of Aden and Somalia.
The welcoming ceremony was presided over by the Admiral Commander of the Canarias Naval Command, Juan L. Sobrino Pérez-Crespo.
Since leaving its base on October 4, 2016, the maritime action vessel has traveled more than 28,000 nautical miles in the area of operations, has made almost 50 approaches to different vessels in the area, monitored and protected vessels of the Program World Food Program, of the UN Mission for Somalia (AMISOM) during the delivery of humanitarian aid (WFP). In addition, it has trained the various regional countries of the Somali Basin.
The patrol boat “Lightning” has been the thirty-fifth Spanish vessel that has participated in this operation uninterrupted since 2008, under the flag of the European Union, this being the third time the ship was leaving in operation “Atalanta”.
On the maritime action vessel “Lightning”
The “Lightning”, commanded by corvette captain Francisco Garcia Flores, is the third of the first series of four ships of maritime action (BAM). It is conceived as an ocean patrol boat and has a high level of automatisms, which allows it to be operated by a limited entity. During this deployment, 86 people, including medical staff, the Airborne Unit, the Safety Operations Team and the Special Operations Team have been on board.
Initiated in 2008, Operation Atalanta contributes to the improvement of security in the Indian Ocean, carrying out maritime surveillance actions, in order to prevent and prevent possible acts of piracy. It also collaborates in the monitoring of fishing activities on the coast of Somalia. Since its inception, Spain has participated uninterruptedly with the contribution of different naval and air media.