NEWS | Jan. 22, 2020

Strengthening A Two-Century Bond Between U.S. and Spanish Navies

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Nelson, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa Public Affairs

Adm. James G. Foggo III, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa (CNE-CNA) and commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples, met with senior U.S. and Spanish leaders in Madrid, Spain, Jan. 21, 2020.

During the visit, Foggo met with the U.S. Ambassador to Spain Richard Duke Buchan III, and the Spanish Chief of the Joint Defense Staff Gen. Miguel Angel Villarroya, to discuss the strong relationship between the two countries and mutual security challenges.

“Spain is a vital ally, partner, and friend of the United States,” said Buchan. “The United States and Spain are united by history and have accomplished extraordinary things in the defense of our common values."  

The U.S.-Spain naval relationship dates back to the U.S. War of Independence and the relationship was strengthened when the U.S. Navy Mediterranean Fleet was established in Menorca, Spain, the predecessor of today’s U.S. 6th Fleet.

“It’s great to be back in Spain to celebrate the enduring bond between the Spanish and U.S. navies,” said Foggo. “The U.S. and Spain work closely together on a range of global challenges, including international peace, stability, and economic prosperity.”

Spain is a critical partner in CNE-CNA efforts across both Europe and Africa and has provided support to several important training exercises like: Trident Juncture, Formidable Shield, BALTOPS, Obangame Express, and Phoenix Express.

“Our partnership with Spain could not be stronger,” Foggo said. “Spain is a gracious host to more than 5,700 U.S. personnel and our ships, which are forward deployed to Naval Support Activity Rota, Spain, and are crucial in ensuring security throughout Europe.”

The four forward-deployed destroyers are part of NATO’s integrated air and missile defense capability – providing an umbrella of protection over Europe against ballistic missile threats. The U.S., Spain, NATO allies, and partners stand to ensure Europe is whole, free, and prosperous.

“While our military-to-military relationship with Spain is strong and our commitment to NATO is rock solid, our strongest bond is simply as two peoples, coming together around similar principles and values,” said Foggo. “This is one of the many things that separates us from our adversaries. The U.S. Navy is the most powerful Navy in the world, but we are much stronger as a team with our NATO Allies and partners.”

U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, headquartered in Naples, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.