ESPS Numancia joined the EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia Operation Atalanta on Saturday 6 April. ¬†The Spanish frigate belongs to the 41st Escort Squadron and this is the second time that she has deployed as part of Atalanta. ¬†The previous time was in 2009, when Numancia also performed the role of EU Naval Force flagship.
Numancia is the third of 6 Santa Mar√≠a class frigates in service with the Spanish Navy. She is 138 m long and her full-load displacement is around 4,100 tons. ¬†She carries two SH-60 Seahawk helicopters.
Her Commanding Officer is Commander Luis D√≠az-Bedia Astor. There are currently 227 personnel onboard, including those from her crew, the embarked helicopter detachment, the Spanish Marines Force Protection Team and a Djiboutian officer.
Numancia has been preparing for her role in Operation Atalanta since January. In February she underwent a training and evaluation programme, conducted by the Spanish Fleet Evaluation Centre. ¬†During this process, the warship also had the opportunity to train with the new EU Naval Force flagship, NRP Alvares Cabral.
Numancia departed Rota, her home base in Southern Spain, on 22 March, and sailed through the Mediterranean Sea, Suez Canal and Red Sea, before her arrival in Djibouti on 4 April. ¬†During the transit her crew performed further training and preparations, in order to sharpen their counter-piracy skills.¬† The ship and her crew are fully prepared to face any challenges during the demanding inter-monsoon period.