By Chris King • 20 January 2022 • 18:06
At the request of NATO, Margarita Robles, Spain’s Defense Minister, this morning, Thursday, January 20, announced that the Spanish Armed Forces are accelerating their military deployments in the Black Sea, due to the tension between Russia and Ukraine.
Spain’s scheduled participation in the Permanent Naval Groups of the Alliance will apparently be brought forward by a few weeks. In addition, a detachment of Eurofighter fighters will be deployed to Bulgaria by the end of next month.
Ms Robles pointed out that Spain “is assessing the possibility” of an aerial deployment in Bulgaria as part of NATO’s Reinforced Air Police. This is a mission that monitors allied airspace in the face of the constant presence of Russian aircraft that fly unidentified.
Several military sources consulted by larazon.es actually confirmed that this operation “is already planned”, and that six Eurofighter fighters will be deployed at the end of next February, along with a contingent of just over a hundred troops.
According to the same sources, the deployment will last about six or eight weeks, and some aspects still need to be resolved. These include a decision about the base where they will finally be located. Last year, the Spanish fighters already participated in this same mission, but were based in Romania.
The intention of Defence was to participate every year, as in the Baltic Air Police, but this year the quota of countries was full, and that deployment was continuously postponed until next year. However, given the increase in tensions, NATO has asked the allies for more presence, and Spain offered.
In addition, Margarita Robles also confirmed that two Spanish naval vessels will be heading the Black Sea. The Maritime Action Vessel (BAM) ‘Meteoro’ already left on Monday, to lead the Permanent Naval Group for Countermine Measures No. 2 (SNMCMG-2).
The frigate ‘Blas de Lezo’, will depart “in three or four days”, although this time to join the Permanent Naval Group No. 2 (SNMG-2). Military sources also confirmed that the minehunter ‘Sella’, will leave next week to join the Contraminas Group led by the ‘Meteoro’.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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