Spanish Frigate Completes Its Deployment As A NATO Command Ship

Spanish Frigate Completes Its Deployment As A NATO Command Ship
Spanish Frigate Completes Its Deployment As A NATO Command Ship

SPANISH Frigate ‘Cristóbal Colón’ Completes Its Five Month Deployment As A NATO Command Ship

The Spanish frigate ‘Cristóbal Colón’ has just ended its five-month deployment in Mediterranean Sea where it formed a part of NATO’s permanent SNMG-2 maritime group, as Spanish vessels have done for the last 30 years.

Docking at Pier 5 of the Ferrol Arsenal, having previously disarmed at the A Graña naval base, also in the Ferrol estuary, the vessel – originally built in the Navantia shipyard in that same city – had set sail on November 3 to the Greek port of Souda, where it relieved the frigate ‘Álvaro de Bazán’, also based in Ferrol.


During its deployment in the Mediterranean, the crew took part both in NATO exercises, such as ‘ZEST 20’ or ‘Dynamic Manta 21’, and in real missions patrolling the Syrian channel, as well as making a trip into the Black Sea with SNMG-2, which is a permanent maritime grouping of NATO, comprised of naval units from the different allied countries.
Spanish Rear Admiral Manuel Aguirre, has been in command of SNMG-2 since last June, his role finishing on July 1, 2021, on board the frigate ‘Méndez Núñez’, taking over a few days ago from the ‘Christopher Columbus’ in the port of Constanza, Romania.
The ‘Christopher Columbus’, is the last built in the F-100 series, and will go to sea again at the beginning of May to take part in the ‘Formidable Shield 21’, exercise, organised by, among others, the Maritime Theater Missile forum Defense (MTMD), which Spain is chairing until June of this year.

During this exercise, the interoperability capacity of the ships integrated into a multinational force will be tested under a multiple threat scenario, including exercises involving ballistic missile detection and tracking, as well as the defence against anti-ship missiles using real missile launches.

The Cristóbal Colón’s captain, Juan Bautista Payá Martínez, looks after a crew of 220 men and women, including a Marine Corps security operational team and an SH-60B helicopter, as reported by

Chris King
Chris was born in a small village in Wales, where he ran his own successful construction company for many years, before deciding in 1990, to swap the grey skies and rain for the sunshine and lifestyle of the Costa del Sol. Late last year he made the move to Southern Portugal, and is now residing on the Algarve. Having sang and played in a rock band back in Wales, he still likes to go out and entertain in his spare time, singing in restaurants and golf clubs. Interests are of course music, especially from the 60s and 70s, movies, nice restaurants, and has a passion for graphic design and online marketing.


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