The Navy’s BAM ‘Audaz’ returns to its home port in Cartagena (Murcia) after five months in the Gulf of Guinea.

The Navy's BAM 'Audaz' returns to its home port in Cartagena after five months in the Gulf of Guinea
The ALMART addresses a few words to the crew of the BAM ‘Audaz’ after docking at its home port in Cartagena (Murcia)

The Maritime Action Ship (BAM) ‘Audaz’ has docked this Tuesday, June 6, at the La Curra dock in Cartagena (Murcia), after five months of navigation in the waters of the Gulf of Guinea to carry out surveillance and maritime security tasks in an area of special strategic interest for Spain.

The BAM ‘Audaz’ thus returns to its home port and ends operations on the west coast of Africa and the Gulf of Guinea, after 143 days away from its home port and sailing more than 20,000 nautical miles, both in the northern and southern hemispheres, according to Navy sources in a statement.

It has visited the ports of Lagos (Nigeria), Pointe Noire (Republic of Congo), Luanda (Angola), Tema (Ghana), Douala (Cameroon), Libreville (Gabon), Port-Gentil (Gabon), Sao Tome (Sao Tome and Principe), Dakar (Senegal), Nouadhibou (Mauritania), Lagos (Nigeria) and Abidjan (Ivory Coast), making a total of 10 countries and 12 ports.

It is worth noting that this deployment was the longest to date in these maritime areas.

During the CMP-GoG (‘Coordinated Maritime Presence – Gulf of Guinea’) deployment, the ship carried out maritime surveillance and environmental awareness activities on a permanent basis, thus contributing to increasing maritime security in the region.

It has also carried out multiple military cooperation activities with the coastal countries, fostering mutual knowledge and trust and helping to increase their capabilities in the area of maritime security.

Likewise, the BAM ‘Audaz’ has supported the Spanish diplomatic delegations in the region, with the aim of contributing to the State’s action abroad and reinforcing national interests in the region.

The ship has been integrated into the Maritime Operational Command (MOM), based at the Maritime Action Force Headquarters in Cartagena, and under the operational control of the Operations Command (MOPS).

The deployment of the BAM ‘Audaz’ has made a decisive contribution to strengthening the European Union’s Coordinated Maritime Presences initiative as an effective instrument for improving maritime security in the area and advancing cooperation between the European Union (EU) and the states of West and Central Africa.

The aim of this mechanism in the region is to ensure a permanent maritime presence and availability, to promote international maritime cooperation and to provide greater European operational capacity.

It should be noted that Spain, as a partner fully committed to European security and defence, is one of the main contributors to this EU initiative.

The deployment consisted of 78 people, including ten officers, 13 non-commissioned officers and 55 military personnel. Of the total, nine are women.

To reinforce the ship’s capabilities, an Operational Marine Infantry Team from the Third Army (TEAR), a doctor from the Military Health Corps (CMS), intelligence personnel, an Operational Diving Team with its core from the Navy Diving Centre (CBA), a team from the Hydrographic Institute of the Navy (IHM), and a chaplain from the Armed Forces Religious Assistance Service (SARFAS) were embarked to reinforce the ship’s capabilities.

The crew has been a fundamental part of the fulfilment of the mission with their effort, work and dedication throughout the deployment.

This is the first of the two ships that make up the extension to the 1st series of four BAMs that Navantia built for the Spanish Navy. It was delivered on 26 July 2018, and is based in Cartagena. Lieutenant Commander Marcos de Sousa Fuchs has been in command.

The ship is part of the Maritime Action Force (FAM), which, within the Fleet, is formed by the set of units whose main task is to prepare to protect national maritime interests and the control of maritime spaces of sovereignty and national interest, taking charge, with a comprehensive approach, of ensuring permanent cooperation with the various government agencies with powers in the maritime field, which is the Navy’s contribution to the State’s Action at Sea.

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