Spanish Navy


Purpose of the mission - EUNAVFOR (MED Sophia) .- BAM 'Rayo'(P-42) - Activities - Armada Española - Ministerio de Defensa - Gobierno de España

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Tuesday, 16 July 2019 - document to 18:18:27

EUNAVFOR (MED Sophia) .- BAM 'Rayo'(P-42)

  • Purpose of the mission

Purpose of the mission Activities

Purpose of the mission

OPV ‘Rayo’ (P-42) in EUNAVFOR (MED Sophia).

The offshore patrol vessel ‘Rayo’, left her homeport in Las Palmas (Canary Islands) to integrate into Operation ‘Sophia’ in central Mediterranean from February to June 2019.

This is the first time a ship of these characteristics deploys in the EU-led operation. Previous units included the six FFG ‘Santa María’-class frigates and the auxiliary oiler and replenishment ship AOR ‘Cantabria’.

The Spanish OPV has a complement of 83 people, including intelligence analysts, the air crew of the AB-212 helicopter with its corresponding support personnel, and a security team made up of 11 marines. The ship is under command of Lt-CDR. José Manuel De Mata Hervás.

Operation ‘Sophia’

Operation ‘Sophia’ is a multinational mission set up by the European Union in 2015 to search and rescue migrants, and help stop human trafficking. The ‘Rayo’ is deployed to try and prevent the illegal networks from operating in the central Mediterranean, arresting traffickers and seizing their craft, thus contributing to saving lives at sea.

Operation EUNAVFOR MED SOPHIA has also been entrusted with the following additional tasks:

  • Implementation of the 2016 Weapons Embargo on Libya under the UN Security Council Resolution 2292.

  • Training of the Libyan Coast Guard and Libyan Navy personnel

    This operation is by no means a blockade of some North African ports, but the naval contribution to the Common European Union Foreign and Security policy and operates under the aegis of international legislation and UN resolutions.

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