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Frigate 'Álvaro de Bazán' participates in the inaugural deployment of the aircraft carrier USS "Gerald R. Ford"

September 27, 2022
  • F-101 frigate "Álvaro de Bazán" docked at the Norfolk Naval Base to join the 12th Combat Group

Frigate "Álvaro de Bazán" docked at the Norfolk Naval Base (Virginia, USA) after an 11 days trip through the Atlantic Ocean. The arrival of the frigate at this naval base involves her participation in the activities of the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford Combat Group starts, which will carry out its inaugural deployment during the next month and a half.

This deployment will be focused on improving the level of training of its crew and the preparation and interoperability of the 'Álvaro de Bazán' frigate with allied navies and, specifically, with the most modern units of the US Navy, such as the aircraft carrier 'Gerald R. Ford'.

During the 11 days of trip through the Atlantic Ocean, the frigate had the opportunity to improve the cohesion among its crew, the embarked air unit and the operational security team, carrying out several activities and internal training. The ship also carried out a replenishment at sea with the North American supply ship USNS 'Medgar Evers', which will also participate in the deployment.

This inaugural deployment of the USS Gerald R. Ford Combat Group will be joined, in addition to the Spanish frigate, by frigates with similar features from other navies such as Germany, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Canada and France.

The aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford was delivered to the US Navy in May 2017. It is the first of its kind and the most modern currently in service in the world.

Frigate "Álvaro de Bazán", clead by Commander Jesús Viñas Barciela, was delivered to the Navy on September 19, 2002 and is the first unit of the F-100 series, belonging to the 31st Escort Squadron. The crew consists of 221 women and men including a SH-60B helicopter embarked air unit, an operational security team belonging to the Canary Islands Security Unit, and a Chaplain.

The 31st Escort Squadron, under the command of Captain Gonzalo Leira Neira, consists of five F-100 frigates and two fleet replenishment ships based in Ferrol, which provide deterrence and defence capabilities unmatched by other naval squadrons in Europe.