Spanish Aegis frigate joins Carrier Strike Group 12 in Norfolk

The Spanish Navy’s Álvaro de Bazán-class frigate ESPS Méndez Núñez (F 104) arrived at Naval Station Norfolk on January 14 where it will become part of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12 and conduct joint training and exercises.

Méndez Núñez, homeported in Ferrol, Spain, was commissioned in 2006.

She joins CSG-12 assets Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, Destroyer Squadron 2, and the guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55) to conduct Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX).

COMPTUEX is a training evolution designed to integrate all the assets of the strike group, test their ability to carry out maritime operations, and assess their deployability.

“In today’s complex and dynamic maritime environment, we have to forge and employ strong partnerships to protect our mutual interests,” said Capt. Sean Anderson, Commodore, Destroyer Squadron Two. “Méndez Núñez joining ABESG (Abraham Lincoln Strike Group) is extremely exciting and brings significant and familiar capability as another AEGIS ship. We have been working with our Spanish partners for almost a year leading up to this COMPTUEX and cooperative deployment, and I can tell you, they are extremely professional and proficient. We will continue to learn from each other, which makes ABESG more formidable.”

While in port in Norfolk, Sailors from CSG-12 and Sailors and Marines from Méndez Núñez will participate in a variety of events geared toward relationship-building and partnership, to include training with Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Two, a wreath laying ceremony honoring fallen Spanish sailors from the Spanish American War, and a welcome reception.

After the pre-deployment drill COMPTUEX is completed, the Spanish frigate will return home before rejoining the carrier strike group on an operational deployment. Méndez Núñez is expected to spend the majority of 2019 with US Navy units and is scheduled to return home in November.

Photo: ESPS Méndez Núñez (F 104) pulls into Naval Station Norfolk. Photo: US Navy

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