The Russian frigate Admiral Kasatonov. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter -


The Spanish offshore patrol vessel Centinela intercepted and monitored two Russian vessels, the frigate Admiral Kasatonov and the tanker Akademik Pashin, which are sailing in the western Mediterranean on Tuesday.

At one point the Russian vessels are suspected of having entered Balearic waters but exact information is being kept classified.According to the Defence General Staff, the Centinela, which is currently part of the Permanent Operations of the Armed Forces, is carrying out maritime surveillance and security tasks in the waters off the southern mainland, with the aim of guaranteeing national interests in Spanish sovereign waters.

The patrol vessel is deployed in Permanent Surveillance and Deterrence Operations, part of the Maritime Operational Command (MOM). The MOM, based in Cartagena and under the command of the Admiral of Maritime Action (ALMART), is the organisation of the operational structure of the Armed Forces, subordinate to the Chief of Defence Staff (JEMAD), responsible for planning, conducting and monitoring surveillance and security operations in maritime areas of sovereignty, responsibility and national interest.

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According to the statement from the Defence Staff, the Permanent Surveillance and Deterrence Operations are an effective tool for maintaining surveillance of sovereign spaces, which allows for the early detection of threats and facilitates an immediate and viable response to a potential crisis. The Land (MOT), Maritime (MOM), Aerospace (MOA) and the recently created Cyberspace (MOC) Operational Commands make up the Permanent Command structure.

According to the General Staff, some 3,000 Armed Forces personnel are involved in permanent operations on a daily basis, under the operational control of the Operations Command.

With a crew of 40, the offshore patrol vessel Centinela (P-72) is part of the Ferrol Maritime Action Force Units Command, which is part of the Navy’s Maritime Action Force. The ship’s main mission is to carry out maritime surveillance and security operations in areas of sovereignty and national interest. It also regularly supports other state agencies in the fight against illegal immigration, drug trafficking and other criminal activities.

The vessel Centinela is prepared to carry out maritime interdiction operations (visiting, searching and, if necessary, seizing vessels) and to provide aid, rescue and assistance at sea if required.