Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Spanish Navy anti-terrorist exercise

Famex 05

Pride of the Spanish Navy - La Armada - the Aircraft Carrier 'Principe de Asturias'Spain’s navy is currently involved in an eight-day maritime exercise aimed at testing its response capabilities within a broad range of realistic scenarios, including a terrorist attack on a ship and major pollution incident.

Seven unrelated scenarios will be played out over the coming days, including a mock suicide seaborne attack on a warship entering the port of Cádiz.

Another scenario will simulate a collision between a tanker and a bulk carrier in waters off the port of Cartagena and is geared to testing response mechanisms to tackle a large oil spill.

SAR (Search and Rescue) Exercise being conducted by the Spanish Navy Armada during a recent exerciseA similar exercise will be carried out off the Canary Islands, this time to practice the rescue of the crew of a fictitious merchant ship that has sunk due to structural damage.

Other missions included in the programme aim to train military personnel in monitoring and interdiction techniques used to tackle illegal trafficking of drugs, arms and immigrants.

The exercise, known as FAMEX 05, is taking place in various locations within Spain’s territorial waters and involves other government agencies including the Merchant Marine Directorate and the Maritime Rescue Service.

The missions are based on “practical and realistic” scenarios that reflect current live operations in Spanish waters, the Spanish navy said in a statement.

Some 15 vessels and 600 personnel will take part in FAMEX 05, as well as several Spanish Air Force planes and a maritime surveillance plane from France.

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