The United States is still meditating its response to the "temporary withdrawal" of the Spanish frigate Méndez Núñez (F-104) of the 12th Aircraft Carrier Combat Group Abraham Lincoln when it was in the Persian Gulf, an area planned for the initial deployment, such and as reported by ABC on April 21.
The decision was valued yesterday with enormous discomfort for the "unofficial" sources of the Spanish Navy consulted by this newspaper. There is no discrepancy on the basis of the decision – "each government has its vision and defense policy" – but "by the way" and not having adopted it before the deployment, in which there could be an escalation of tension as it passes through areas such as the Middle East or the South China Sea.
Nothing hurts a military man more than abandoning an international mission suddenly and without a duty. In addition, the decision places Spain in an unreliable ally.
However, the same military sources hope that the situation can be redirected and the Spanish frigate can be integrated back into the flotilla of the US aircraft carrier when the escalation of tension between Iran and the US. decrease. "Although the aircraft carrier can be up to a couple of months in the area," they stressed.
And the rest of the mission?
For its part, from the General Staff of the Defense (Emad), it was officially informed of the new course of the Spanish frigate that is already heading to the port of Bombay (India), "where the 214 Spanish sailors will exercise their right to vote by mail in the European and municipal and regional elections of May 26 ».
Now the rest of the mission remains in the air, where the Spanish frigate was part of the escort of the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, along with six other US ships, in a seven-month journey that began on April 10 in Ferrol (La Coruña) and it was going to end on October 31 at the base in San Diego. Then, through the Panama Canal, there would be a round the world trip.
In declarations to ABC on April 19, the commander of the frigate Méndez Núñez, the commander of the frigate Antonio González del Tánago, explained that "our mission is to provide defense capability to the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, carry out various tasks of maritime security and guarantee freedom of navigation and commerce ». He also explained the deployment in these terms: "This deployment is also a clear commitment of Spain and the United States in favor of world peace and stability."
All this has been disrupted after the decision – "precipitate", according to the same unofficial sources – of the Government of Pedro Sanchez that yesterday, in a coordinated response tried to remove iron to the "provisional" decision that was not previously discussed in the Council of Ministers. This is confirmed by sources of the presidency of the Executive who emphasize that this issue "is a defense competence."
From the environment of the president, they make it clear that the President of the Government was "aware of the facts and the decision". A message that conveys that the decision must be circumscribed only to the scope of Defense. The will is to support "the decision based on technical and military reasons correctly explained by the minister." It is the message that is wanted to make arrive at the United States and by which in Moncloa they argue that they do not fear the reaction of the Trump Administration.
However, aside from the words of Robles, questioning that the last deployment of the Lincoln did not enter into the forecasts, the rest of the ministers who could be asked yesterday for this question showed the distances between Spain and the United States.
The vice president of the Government, Carmen Calvo, justified the decision because the agreement with the US "did not enter" that the ships could go to the Persian Gulf: "Our country is going to bet for the relaxation always and especially in a place like that". However, the initial plans of the mission did foresee patrols for the area of the US Fifth Fleet, responsible for the naval forces in the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea.
The government spokesperson, Isabel Celaá, did justify the decision aimed at the management of Trump. Celaá defended that the decision is due to the "caution and prudence" of the Spanish Executive before the "unpredictability" of the US president.
A liaison officer
Despite the "provisional withdrawal" of the Spanish frigate from the deployment, a liaison officer of the Spanish Navy, in charge of coordinating relations between Abraham Lincoln and the Spanish frigate, still remains on the US aircraft carrier. (tagsToTranslate) eeuu (t) answer (t) sanchez (t) aircraft carrier (t) lincoln