The offshore patrol vessel (OPV) ‘Vigía’ set sail from Puntales Naval Station (Cadiz)to conduct a series of activities in Africa as part of the Defense Diplomacy Plan and a follow-on of the Africa Partnership Station (APS) initiative. These deployments are intended to enhance maritime security and to carry out cooperative security operations in West Africa and the Gulf of Guinea, organized by the Ministry of Defense, the Chief of the Defense Staff (JEMAD) and the Spanish Navy. Last year, these manoeuvers were conducted by her sister ship ‘Serviola’.
In the course of the four-month deployment, the ‘Vigía’ will be integrated into the operational structure of the Armed Forces under direct command of the Maritime Security and Surveillance Command. The deployment will be divided into three stages: the first one, until mid-March, includes the transit to the Gulf of Guinea with cooperative security drills with the Mauritanian and Cape Verdean Navies.
During the second stage the ‘Vigía’ will deploy in the Gulf of Guinea to conduct military support activities with the Navies of Ghana and Cameroon.The third and final stage will take place in Cape Verde once again with scheduled port calls in the Canary Islands.
The ‘Vigía’ will support the Defense Diplomacy Plan intended to cooperate with regional west-African nations to help them enhance their capabilities and to foster mutual understanding and confidence, thus contributing to maritime security in the area and, in turn, in Spain.
Africa Partnership Station (APS) is an initiative designed to enhance stability and maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea strengthening the operational capabilities of west-African nations with joint training exercises.