SPAIN and the United States are set to ink a deal for two additional US destroyers to be deployed at the US naval base in Cadiz.

The deal was agreed ahead of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s scheduled visit to Washington on 12 May. 

The two US warships will complete NATO’s anti-missile shield in Europe’s southern flank, and reaffirm the two nations’ commitment to the transatlantic bond.

Sources within the Spanish Defence Ministry confirmed the agreement on Thursday, with Madrid and Washington having already exchanged internal documents to hasten the process. 

The two new warships will join the four similar vessels that are already stationed at the US Navy Rota base.

The four US destroyers currently operating at the Rota base are serviced locally by Spain’s state ship-building company Navantia.

Biden and Sánchez first announced the destroyers deal on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid in June 2022.

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NAVY BOOST: Spain has agreed to host two further US destroyers at the US naval base in Cadiz

In January of this year, the Spanish Council of Ministers authorised the negotiation of a reinforced defence cooperation agreement with the United States, allowing for the deployment of additional US warships in Spanish waters.

The Rota Naval Base is located approximately 10 kilometres from the city of Cadiz and is used by both the Spanish and US navies.

It has a long history dating back to 1953 when the Spanish and US governments signed a bilateral agreement to allow the United States to establish a naval base in Spain. 

At the time, Spain was ruled by the dictator Francisco Franco, who sought to forge closer ties with the United States as a means of gaining protection from potential threats from other European powers.

Today, the Rota Naval Base is home to a number of US Navy ships, including destroyers, submarines, and support vessels. 

It is also used by the Spanish Navy, which operates its own ships from the base. 

Due to its location in the south-west corner of Europe Rota plays an important role in NATO’s defence strategy, serving as a key location for the Alliance’s anti-missile shield in Europe’s southern flank.


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