Last Wednesday April 12th , the frigate 'Álvaro de Bazán' docked in the port of Rotterdam (Netherlands) after more than a week of patrolling and enhanced surveillance of the North Atlantic, together with the Polish frigate 'G. T. Kosciuszko' as part of NATO's Standing NATO Grouping 1 (SNMG1).
During the five days that the ship has been berthed in Europe's largest port, it has carried out naval presence, protocol activities, logistical activities and has also been used to rest for the crew.
As part of the protocol activities, the Commander of the frigate, together with the Commander of the Polish frigate, were received by the Mayor of the city, who has been in office since 2009. He welcomed the presence of the allied forces in his city. The Commander was also received by the Head of the Port Authority of the port of Rotterdam, which is the largest in Europe. Finally, he was also received by the Commander of the Naval Base.
On Friday April 14th, the Lieutenant General of the E.T., Luis Lanchares Dávila, was welcomed on board. Luis Lanchares Dávila, second-in-command of NATO Allied Force Headquarters in Brunssum, was received on board. During the visit, the Lieutenant General signed the book of honour and was able to get to know the ship, its operational capabilities and the activities that the frigate is carrying out in the area of responsibility of its operational level joint-combined headquarters.
During the afternoon of the same day, the 'Force Reception' was held on board, hosted by General Lanchares and attended by five ambassadors and military representatives from the Netherlands and other allied countries. Representatives of the Spanish JFCBS community, SHAPE and the Spanish embassy in the Netherlands were also present.
The frigate 'Álvaro de Bazán' continues to be part of SNMG-1, fulfilling its mission in Operation Brilliant Shield as part of the Very High Readiness Joint Force - Maritime, reporting to the Commander of the Operations Command. It is currently sailing in the North Sea carrying out presence and enhanced surveillance activities, as well as training activities with the other ships of the group.
The frigate 'Álvaro de Bazán' currently has more than 200 men and women on board, including an embarked air unit, an operational security team belonging to the Security Unit of the Tercio de Armada and a Chaplain.
The 31st Surface Ship Squadron consists of five F-100 frigates and two combat supply ships based in Ferrol, which provide deterrence and defence capabilities.