One of Spain's modern navy warships, the Audaz, is in the country to provide maritime security and conduct serialised training with personnel of the Ghana Navy.
As part of the four-day trip, the 80-man crew on board the ship will conduct scouting activities, as well as surveillance operations, across the country's maritime domain in order to ward off threats of terrorism, piracy, narcotics, arms smuggling, human trafficking and environmental pollution that occurred at sea.
The ship, which has a well-equipped sick bay, will also provide medical protection and treatment for the crew, which is made up of a detachment of marines, a diving team, a priest and a medical team, as well as for other forces operating at the Tema Port, where it docked last Monday, March 6.
Speaking with the Daily Graphic during a tour of the gigantic ship, the Captain, Lieutenant Commander Marcos de Sousa Fuchs, said the ship's main mission was to deliver maritime security to countries along the western coast of Africa, adding that Ghana being one of those countries and also being a key partner of Spain in Africa, Spain was committed to supporting it to achieve safety at sea for all.
"Ghana is one of the key actors in Africa, from Spain's perspective. So we are here to cooperate with the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) and increase and expand this cooperation.
“Besides the fact of having one of Spain's most modern warships here, the Commander of the Joint Command of Operation of Spain, Lt General Francisco Braco Carbo, is also here to reinforce this message of Spain to Ghana," Lt Commander Fuchs said.
He said the ship, which is on a five-month deployment, set sail from Spain on January 15 and had since been to Congo and Angola, adding that from Ghana, it would visit other African countries, especially those with coastal cooperation.
Lt Commander Fuchs said this was the 13th consecutive year that Spain had dispatched one of its warships and vessels to Ghana, with the aim of fostering cooperation and to deliver maritime security, adding that on the previous visits, the ships docked at the Takoradi Harbour.
Touching on training exercises, he said for the past few days, the crew had had training, including first aid at sea, medical capabilities, maritime intervention, diving and platform control, with personnel of the Ghana Navy, adding that they would soon move to the Volta Region where they would be training with the training audience participating in the massive United States Flintlock exercise involving security personnel from 29 countries, including Ghana.
He said the Audaz participation in that exercise would be the first time a ship was participating in Flintlock.
He expressed delight at Spain's security personnel working with the GAF and said they looked forward to enhancing and expanding the cooperation and work.