Spanish frigate Victoria visits Haifa on first ever port call in Israel

Spanish Navy frigate ESPS Victoria pulled into the Haifa port on May 25 for her first ever visit to Israel.

ESPS Victoria sails in formation with HMS Duncan. Photo: Israel Defence Forces

The 31-year-old Santa Maria-class frigate arrived in Haifa together with Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan for a weekend port call.

The two ships are currently deployed to NATO’s Standing Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) and are conducting maritime situational awareness operations in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Spanish and Royal Navy sailors and officers met with their Israeli Navy and subsequently took part in a joint exercise.

Duncan and Victoria arrived in Israel after 20 days of operations in the Black Sea where they took part in the Romanian-hosted exercise Sea Shield and made port visits to Constanta, Romania and Poti, Georgia.

SNMG2 is one of four multinational, integrated maritime forces composed of vessels from various allied countries. These groups provide NATO with a continuous maritime capability and help to establish alliance presence, demonstrate solidarity, conduct routine diplomatic visits and enhance interoperability among allied naval forces. They also serve as a consistently ready maritime force to support the NATO Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF).