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The frigate 'Álvaro de Bazán' sails from Halifax with the carrier battle group USS 'Gerald R. Ford'

On the Sea
November 4, 2022
  • The Spanish frigate sailed from Halifax Naval Base along with the rest of the allied ships and the carrier battle group to continue its deployment

The frigate 'Álvaro de Bazán' departed on November 1 from the Halifax Naval Base (Nova Scotia, Canada) after being docked at the naval base for four days. The Spanish frigate is integrated with the USS 'Gerald R. Ford' carrier battle group, under national operational control of the Operations Command.

After the participation in the TFEX23-2 training exercises, which ended prior to the stay in Halifax, the frigate 'Álvaro de Bazán' is at the halfway point of its participation in the inaugural deployment of the aircraft carrier.

Prior to the arrival and during the stay at the Halifax Naval Base, two new countries, the Netherlands and Denmark, have officially joined the deployment. These allied navies will provide the USS 'Gerald R. Ford' carrier battle group with four frigates, one of them Danish and the other three from the Dutch Navy.

Today the battle group sails the Atlantic and continues to improve its interoperability and cohesive group spirit through both the interconnection of systems as well as the advancement of mutual knowledge and the implementation of standardized procedures among participating allied navies.

It is worth mentioning that refueling and joint-combined training activities will be carried out, which will allow to continue reinforcing the high level of training of our frigate with the Marine Corps Operational Security Team (EOS) and the SH-60B helicopter on board. In addition, the frigate 'Álvaro de Bazán' will be trained to participate in the 'Silent Wolverine' maneuvers, in the waters of the Bay of Biscay, together with the USS 'Gerald R. Ford', before the latter starts its return to Norfolk (United States).

These maneuvers represent the last opportunity to improve the level of training, readiness and interoperability of the frigate 'Álvaro de Bazán' with the allied navies and, specifically, with the most modern units of the US Navy, such as the aircraft carrier 'Gerald R. Ford', and its embarked air assets belonging to the Carrier Air Wing Eight (Carrier Air Wing Number 8 or CVW8) and its escort ships, which have already been technologically updated.

The USS 'Gerald R. Ford' (CVN-78) aircraft carrier was delivered to the US Navy in May 2017. It is the first of its class and the most modern currently in service in the world. It is the flagship of the 12th Battle Group and it should be mentioned that ships belonging to the German, Canadian, Dutch and Danish navies have joined its inaugural deployment along with the frigate 'Álvaro de Bazán' and several ships from Destroyer Squadron Number 2.

The frigate 'Álvaro de Bazán', commanded by lt. commander Jesús Viñas Barciela, was delivered to the Navy on September 19, 2002 and is the first frigate of the F-100 series, belonging to the 31st Surface Squadron. It currently has a total of 220 men and women on board, including an embarked air unit (with SH-60B organic helicopter), an operational security team belonging to the Canary Islands Security Unit and a Chaplain.

The 31st Surface Ship Squadron, commanded by captain Gonzalo Leira Neira, consists of five F-100 frigates and two combat supply ships that provide deterrent and defense capabilities unmatched in other European navy squadrons.