The combat supply ship SPS 'Cantabria' has departed this morning from Naval Station La Graña, in Ferrol (La Coruña), bound for Australia, to be deployed in mid-February with the Australian Navy for a period of nine months.
The deployment of the 'Cantabria' will allow the Navy to operate in a marked strategic interest scenario, improve the training of the ship and its crew to levels much higher than that provided by the current scenario of budget constraints, and test mechanisms support long duration deployments.
Meanwhile, the cooperation of the Spanish ship served the Royal Australian Navy to increase their training and evaluate the capabilities of the 'Cantabria' class with a view to replacing its logistic support vessels, so that this deployment will enable a detailed evaluation of their abilities as a possible candidate for the program future supply Australians ships.
To address this long deployment, the 'Cantabria' has been under intense training, including a period of immobilization in drydock and sea trials off the coast of Ferrol. Thereafter the ship was moved to the Rota Naval Base to conduct training supported by the Centre for Evaluation and Assessment for Combat, complete outstanding certifications and verify proper operation of equipment and systems.
For this mission, the ship will have a crew of 146 men and women. For jobs, these are 21 officers (including the Commander), 24 NCOs, 25 corporals first, 16 corporals and 60 sailors.
Besides the Spanish military personnel during the transit to Sydney a contingent of twelve members of the Australian Navy will embark, which will be fully integrated in the 'Cantabria' to start its setting on the platform and training in handling equipment.