EU NAVFOR mission operation commander visits Spanish MPRA in Djibouti
EU NAVFOR’s Operation Commander, Major General Charlie Stickland visited the Spanish MPRA detachment in Djibouti to discuss the current operational climate and prominent issues, the EU mission official website said.
Maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft (MPRA) provide naval assets with a variety of capabilities making EU NAVFOR resilient and agile. They do this by monitoring developments and providing maritime situational awareness, as well as imagery, intelligence, and surveillance.
Major General Stickland, received a capability update on the equipment and aircraft during a mission debrief. He then addressed the detachment, regarding current operational updates, such as the transfer of the OHQ to Rota, which will take place in March 2019. He went onto praise the hard work of the Spanish detachment, and added how valuable they are to the success of Operation Atalanta and our partners in deterring piracy throughout the Gulf of Aden, Southern Red Sea and Western Indian Ocean.
The Spanish crew of the MPRA are proficient in many skills, including first aid. The medical team from the Orion detachment organised a medical exercise, at their base in Djibouti. After a theory lesson, they practiced how to control a serious bleed; this prepares them to act quickly and respond suitably to a potentially life threatening situation.
Since the beginning of Operation Atlanta, MPRA’s have been key elements in the fight against piracy off the coast of Somalia. Collaboration with other military organisations, like the Japanese MPRA working as part of Combined Maritime Forces has proven essential in covering this huge area of operations.