Nato shows it’s ready

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ON MANOEUVRES: Spain’s Defence Minister Pedro Morenes and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visit operations arena in Zaragoza.

NATO’s Trident Juncture 2015 excises that began on October 19 have now come to an end.

Spain was a host nation with Italy and Portugal, and Almeria played a strategic role in many of the exercises.  

As these came to a conclusion, a Spanish Navy ship, together with 16 other ships from nine nations, participated in minesweeping and bombardment operations in the bays of Vera and Mazarron.

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Previously British and American marines from the 45 Commando and the Delta Company of the Fourth Light Armoured Reconnaissance Battalion had taken part in joint manoeuvres at the Spanish Legion base in Viator.  These were of ‘unprecedented size’ owing to the numbers and weaponry involved, a NATO communiqué announced.

The war games were preceded by reconnaissance flights by Merlin and H-90 Sea Lynx helicopters before waves of marines were landed in Ospreys and Chinooks. Operations were directed offshore by the helicopter carrier HMS Ocean and the frigate HMS Bulwark, which docked two days earlier in Almeria Port.

“NATO is up to the test,” said its secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, at the end of the manoeuvres. He added: “While our aim is to train and exercise, we are also sending a clear message to our nations and any potential adversary.  

“NATO does not seek confrontation but we stand ready to defend all allies.”

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