ESPS Santa Maria is currently deployed with Operation Atalanta in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean as part of Spain’s contribution to the European Union’s efforts to ensure piracy remains suppressed off the coast of Somalia.
To ensure the Spanish marines on board remain fully prepared to protect World Food Programme vessels carrying humanitarian aid to the Somali people and merchant ships carrying cargo to and from Europe, they carry out small-arms training on the upper deck every week.
Training such as this is a key part of a warship’s routine. Sailors and marines also carry out other regular drills at sea, such as fire-fighting, because if a fire was to break out on board, they of course have to become the ship’s fire-fighters!
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