The Pentagon takes for granted, for the moment, explanations from the Spanish government that the withdrawal of the Spanish frigate Méndez Núñez from combat group 12 of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln is due to technical reasons and leaves any political response in the hands of the security council of the White House, who is also the one who requested the shipment of that ship and those who accompany it to the Persian Gulf to contain the threat of Iran.
According to a Pentagon spokesperson told ABC yesterday "the military relationship between the US and Spain is strong and close and remains as always ». For its part, the Security Council of the White House refused to rule on sending the Spanish frigate to Bombay (India) to vote from there the 214 crew. A spokeswoman for the State Department in turn referred the Pentagon to any assessment.
A spokesman for the Fifth Fleet of the US Navy, to which the USS Lincoln belongs, told ABC that "any question about the participation of the frigate Méndez Núñez in combat group 12 should refer to the Spanish defense minister." These sources add, in an email, that they value the strong military cooperation with Spain.
According to the data provided by the Navy at the request of ABC, the Spanish frigate crossed the Suez Canal with the rest of the combat group, but took off from the rest of the ships when crossing the Red Sea. Now he is heading to the coasts of India. A Spanish delegation, with a member of the Congress of Deputies visiting Washington on other issues, did tell ABC on Wednesday that it has received some surprise at the sudden Spanish withdrawal, despite the explanations given by the Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles
The circumstance occurs that on May 7 a NATO delegation, with Spanish soldiers, visited the USS Lincoln in the waters of the Ionian Sea. The Pentagon organized the visit to familiarize its partners with this type of aircraft carrier and to show them the takeoff and landing of airplanes from its deck.
«Cooperation with our partners is vital. Being able to work together greatly improves our capabilities and is the best deterrent we have, "said Rear Admiral John Wade, of combat group 12, in which Méndez Núñez was integrated at the end of the visit. This Spanish frigate did participate in the exercises without registering any technical problem. The main American media, like the newspaper "The Washington Post", have identified the Spanish decision as part of the European reprisals for the rupture by Donald Trump of the nuclear agreement in Iran. (tagsToTranslate) frigate (t) eeuu (t) espana