July 2, 2020 (Google Translation) – Today, Thursday, July 2, the Numancia frigate has docked at the Rota Naval Base after staying away from home for more than 150 days. During this period the ship has been integrated into the European force that protects World Food Program (WFP) ships, and all those ships vulnerable to possible pirate attacks in the waters of the Indian Ocean.
La Numancia has been the command ship of the Portuguese Commodore Vizinha Mirones, in command of the operation until it was relieved by the Spanish Rear Admiral Ignacio Villanueva Serrano. Rear Admiral Villanueva continues to command the operation on board the frigate Santa María, which relieved Numancia in Djibouti waters on June 20.
La Numancia has traveled a total of 26,000 nautical miles, has made more than 30 visits to local fishing boats in the area, and has completed more than 100 shore reconnaissance flights with the “Scan Eagle” drone and the helicopter of the 3rd Model Squadron “AB-212”. In honor of the history that its name represents, Numancia has been able to meet the mission’s objectives despite the siege of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since almost the beginning of the mission, the ship, with more than 200 crew members, has always operated in compliance with the protection measures, which include standing on board for almost 120 days without leaving the shore.
After the effort made during these years of Operation Atalanta, this has been the first time in the last four years in which, during the period between January and June, where pirate activity was more frequent, it has not taken place no attack on ships that sailed the Indian Ocean.
The “Numancia” frigate, third of the “Santa María” class, is based in Rota as part of the 41st escort squadron. The ship takes its name from the ancient city of Numancia, which withstood the sieges of the Roman Empire in 133 BC, and inherits it from the armored frigate Numancia, the first of its kind to circle the world between 1864 and 1867. It He handed over to the Navy in 1988 and since then has participated in a multitude of international missions, among which “SOPHIA”, “Atalanta” and “Enduring Freedom” stand out, projecting the Spanish State’s commitment to maritime security in all conflict scenarios.