After two weeks of intense exercises with ships of up to 10 different nationalities (United States, Norway, Holland, United Kingdom, Portugal, Great Britain, Denmark, Poland, Germany and France) the frigate F-101 "Alvaro de Bazan" concludes its participation in the JOINT WARRIOR 23-1 exercises.
These exercises, biannually organized by the JTEPS of the United Kingdom, on this occasion have taken place in latitudes above the Arctic Circle off the coast of Norway, an area known as High North. The participation in JOINT WARRIOR 23-1 has been a real challenge in terms of sea, wind and visibility weather conditions in the area, as well as the usual extreme cold of these latitudes during winter.
More than 20 NATO naval units and various NATO air assets have taken part in the JOINT WARRIOR 23-1 exercise, including also the Navy frigate F-102 "Almirante Juan de Borbon". This exercise, which is one of the most important at European level, has enabled to increase the interoperability, deterrence capabilities and strength of the Alliance, all of this framed in a realistic geo-strategic and multi-threat scenario. At the same time, the JOINT VIKING 23 exercise, focused on land and amphibious landing operations, was also conducted in the Norwegian fjords.
The frigate currently belongs to the Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG-1), under the Operations Command. It is currently sailing towards the North Sea to resume its operational training programme with the other units of the grouping, as well as to carry out surveillance and reinforced presence tasks in the areas of interest that have been entrusted to it.
The frigate "Álvaro de Bazán", commanded by frigate captain Jesús Viñas Barciela, currently has a crew of 220 men and women, including an embarked air unit, an operational security team belonging to the Security Unit of the Marine Corps Brigade “Tercio de Armada and a chaplain.
La 31ª Escuadrilla de Buques de Superficie, al mando del Capitán de Navío D. Gonzalo Leira Neira, consta de cinco fragatas F-100 y dos buques de aprovisionamiento en combate con base en Ferrol, que aportan capacidades disuasorias y de defensa.
The 31st Escort Squadron, commanded by Captain Gonzalo Leira Neira, consists of five F-100 frigates and two auxiliary oiler and replenishment ships based in Ferrol, which provide deterrence and defence capabilities.