THE Italian Government, tired of supplying all of the command ships for Operation Sophia rescuing migrants at sea has asked for assistance.
It is estimated that in the last year, Spain has spent €67 million in supplying its small contingent but the entire operation has saved the lives of more than 30,000 people and has arrested 109 people smugglers.
Of the 25 other European countries participating in the operation, just one, Spain offered to help fight the people smugglers by offering to take command between September and December of this year.
The Spanish Navy will lead the operation during that time under the immediate command of its own Admiral but he in turn will report to Rome.
It is expected that the Spanish contingent will remain at 254 men and an aircraft but will replace the Frigate Canarias to a larger supply ship Cantabria.