Menorca to become Spain’s third NATO naval base

Spain's thirs naval NATO base

Image of a warship behind the NATO flag. Credit: AntonSAN/

Menorca has been unveiled as the latest Spanish naval base to offer logistical support to NATO’s Mediterranean fleet, joining the ranks of Rota and Cartagena.

This development, confirmed by Spanish mainstream media through government sources, positions Mao’s port as a critical asset for the Atlantic Alliance.

Despite the Balearic Naval Sector Headquarters being in Palma, Mao was deemed the prime choice by the government for enhancing NATO’s logistical capabilities.

A surprise choice

The selection of Mao, to the astonishment of the Balearic Government and its leader, Marga Prohens, was unforeseen, highlighting a significant communication gap.

‘We do not know if the previous Government was aware of it, since it was taken in April 2023 as we have read. If they knew something, nothing was communicated to us during the transfer of powers,’ stated officials close to Consolat, as reported by Diario de Mallorca.

Enhancing NATO’s operational capacity

Mao’s Naval Station stands less than 400 kilometres from pivotal ports like Marseille, Algiers, and Alghero, offering NATO vessels docking and refuelling facilities alongside large fuel and water reserves.

This modest yet versatile station now plays a pivotal role in Operation Sea Guardian, a mission aimed at deterring terrorist activities, understanding maritime dynamics, and bolstering regional security.

Spain’s contribution includes a diverse fleet comprising a submarine, maritime surveillance aircraft, a frigate, a supply ship, and a patrol boat equipped for special operations.

A hub for tactical exercises

Porto Pi in Palma has also hosted military vessels for NATO-organized tactical exercises, such as the Flotex-23 advanced training, demonstrating the strategic importance of Spanish ports in NATO’s operational planning.

In June 2023, ships including the American ‘James E. Williams’ and the Italian ‘Carabiniere’ participated, showcasing the ongoing collaboration within the alliance’s naval groups.

This expansion of NATO’s logistical network into Menorca not only enhances the alliance’s operational flexibility in the Mediterranean but also underscores the strategic value of the Balearic Islands in global security frameworks.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.