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On 5 August, Spanish Grappa Detachment fulfilled 2000 flying hours, since the beginning of the EUNAVFOR MED - operation Sophia, fighting against human trafficking and smugglers in the Mediterranean sea.
It was the 22nd Group of the Spanish Air Force, with P3-Orion, that opened the Spanish detachment 2 years ago. Since then, Units from Spanish SAR (Search and Rescue), with the CN-235 D4-vigma, have continued the job. The crew that completed the 2000 flying hours in the Sophia operation included the 801 Squadron from Palma de Mallorca with the D4.
Both aircrafts- the CN-235 Vigma and the P3-Orion, fulfil the Spanish requirements to operate in EUNAVFORMED: an aircraft with maritime patrol capacity, sensors to locate smugglers and the possibility of aerial photography. This last capacity is used to identify those smugglers.
Another capacity both aircrafts have is the SAR capability, used in order to notify ships at sea about boats that may sink and, if requested, to use the VIGMA aircraft as “SAR platform”, able to drop live rafts.