TRCSG Sailor Reenlists Aboard Spanish Ship Alvaro de Bazan
Story Number: NNS051013-06
Release Date: 10/13/2005
4:52:00 PMBy Journalist 2nd Class Kimberly R. Stephens, USS Theodore Roosevelt Public Affairs
ABOARD USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (NNS)
— USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Operations Specialist 2nd Class Keison Hunt reenlisted aboard the Spanish ship Alvaro de Bazan (F 101) in the Persian Gulf Oct. 2.
Hunt is currently part of the U.S. Communications Assistance Team (CAT) that has been assigned in the integration of Bazan into the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG).Bazan is the first European ship with the Aegis weapons system and is assisting the TRCSG with Maritime Security Operations in the Gulf.
“I decided to reenlist on the Spanish ship because I knew that I would be the first U.S. Navy Sailor to do it, and it was going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Hunt. It was also a first-time experience for many of the Spanish Sailors and officers on board Bazan to witness this type of ceremony.“It has been an honor for me to preside over this ceremony on board my ship,” said Bazan Commanding Officer Cristobal Gonzalez-Aller La Calle. “We don’t have this kind of act for re-enlisting in the Spanish Navy, so it has been an interesting experience from which we can learn and maybe apply in a similar way.”Hunts dedication in working with Bazan’s CAT team has been an essential part of TR’s Operations Departments endeavor to meet the challenge of joint operations.“In spite of the language ‘barrier,’ the interaction has been good, especially with our communications team,” said La Calle.”I thought that it was a good experience because not many U.S. Sailors get the chance to be a part of another military. The Spanish crew was very friendly, and I enjoyed every moment of being on this ship,” said Hunt.Alvaro de Bazan is currently working with TRCSG in support of Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in the Persian Gulf. MSO sets the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment as well as complement the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations. [continues here…]
When the launching of this ship (May 6/2005) Bono played hommage to the US flag: (I have underlined the Zapatero’s words when he did not play any tribute to the US flag).
Bono pays homage to US flagDefense minister José Bono yesterday paid homage to the US flag at a military ceremony in Virginia. Bono said, “We pay our deepest honor to your flag, which respects the Spanish people and stands for the value of freedom.” Bono thanked the US for rendering tribute to the Spanish flag and therefore, in the name of the Spanish people, he wished to return the same tribute. He added, “In Europe we cannot forget that it was the United States who helped in the triumph over totalitarianism.” Bono’s attitude is in notable contrast to that of former opposition leader and current prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who at the Spanish armed forces day parade on October 12, 2003, whas the only invited guest who did not rise in salute to the US flag when it passed by the reviewing stand. Bono’s words were equally surprising because he had previously stated, in order to justify Zapatero’s scorn for the American flag, “Here we do not kneel down, we are just as sovereign as the US, though we may be smaller and not as powerful,” and added that “Spanish soldiers are not at the disposition of the US government; shaking hands with the US president for us cannot mean turning our backs on the Spanish people.” Yesterday, in the hangars of the US aircraft carrier Roosevelt, Bono attended the launching ceremony of the Álvaro de Bazán, the first new Spanish F-100 class frigate, and its addition to the Roosevelt’s carrier group. Aboard the Roosevelt, anchored at Norfolk, Virginia, Bono addressed the ship’s crew and declared that it would show the Spanish flag around the world. Concluded Bono, “The flag evokes feelings of equality and solidarity, and together we can do more and we will, because we want what the Constitution says.”
The Alvaro de Bazan is the first European ship with the capability of forming part of a US carrier group thanks to its combat potential and radar system.
The best thing of course is that the Socialists now are saying that they have not send that ship to “make war”… but it has continued to make impact in the Gulf:
“I am extremely proud of the 7,000 Sailors in our strike group, each one of whom makes a vital contribution every day to our success, whether at sea fighting terrorism or helping to set the conditions for security and stability in this region,” said Rear Adm. James A. Winnefeld, commander, Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group. “Together, we’re all determined to carry this important mission through, until our last day underway.”
CVW-8’s Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 141 led the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group’s first combat flights in support of OIF, when it began flying combat sorties Sept. 24. Since then, aircraft from CVW-8, which consists of Fighter Squadron (VF) 213 and VF-31; Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 87 and VFA-15; Sea Control Squadron (VS) 24; Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 124; and Helicopter Squadron (HS) 3; have conducted strikes in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom while protecting coalition ground troops.
The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group includes the Norfolk-based aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, with its embarked air wing, CVW-8; the Norfolk-based guided-missile cruiser San Jacinto; the Norfolk-based guided-missile destroyers Oscar Austin and Donald Cook; the Spanish frigate SPS Alvaro de Bazan (F101); and the combat logistics ships USNS Mount Baker (T-AE 34) from Naval Weapons Station Earle, N.J., and USNS Kanawha (T-AO 196) from Norfolk.
Operation Steel Curtain is an offensive aimed at preventing cells of Al Qaeda from entering Iraq through the Syrian border. Coalition ground forces consisting of 1,000 Iraqi Army Soldiers and 2,500 U.S. Marines began the offensive Nov. 4 near the town of Husaybah near the Iraq/Syria border.
And now THE photo:
051203-N-4154B-008 Persian Gulf (Dec. 3, 2005) – The Spanish Navy frigate Alvaro de Bazan (F101) sails alongside the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) during Alvaro de Bazan’s departure from Carrier Strike Group Two (CSG-2). CSG-2 is currently underway on a regularly scheduled deployment conducting maritime security operations. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Matthew Bash (RELEASED)
So EL MUNDO, one of Spanish newspapers, asked the Governement what was the role of this ship. (To me it’s very clear, ejem). And it published the news (that were nothing new, ejem). And informed that the TRCSG threw 2.500 kilos of bombs in Iraq with the protection of the Spanisg frigate. USA has confirmed that the frigate was in all these operations.
The Governement said that the “integration in the group of the USS Theodore Roosevelt has been the result of a very large progress of preparation, whose negotitiations began on November 24th, 2005, when Aznar was the President of Spain. It also has said that the Almiral of Spanish Navy has express orders of not joining war actions.
The problem is that the “Naval Review”, one of the Official Spanish Navy publications, informed, on April 14th, 2005, that it was in that moment that the “integration” was signed between Sebastián Zaragoza Soto, Chief Admiral of Spanish Navy, and Michael G. Mullen, Admiral and Chief Commader of the US Naval Forces in Europe.
So Mr. Rajoy, the oppostion leader, has asked Mr. Zapatero to explain the role of the frigate in Parliament. And Llamazares, the communist leader, that intended to accuse Aznar of genocide in Iraq, has also asked Zapatero about the mission of the frigate.
But the success of the integration is a reality and the role of Spanish sailors and officers, have been praised by USS Theodore Roosevelt. I am very proud of it, and with me any Spanish proud of being so.
(Spanish Parliament has just now passed a law forbidding to smoke in public places)