Largest NATO Naval Exercise Concludes In Advance Of Summit

In advance of the most important NATO summit in decades the Spanish Navy has concluded the largest naval exercise in years with its alliance partners in the Gulf of Cadiz and the Atlantic Coast.

The Flotex 22 Exercise was made up of a NATO task force of 20 ships from six nations – was designed to show the alliance’s commitment to the region’s prosperity and security ahead of theNATO Summit starting this week in Madrid.

The manoeuvres provided a “real war” scenario for training under the auspices of the Spanish High Readiness Maritime Headquarters and NATO Command.

The exercise included one of the Royal Navy´s biggest warships, the aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales, showcased NATO allies’ ability to operate together in the region.

The aircraft carrier was involved in a display of force as training began with a Royal Salute from the Spanish Armada to King Felipe VI of Spain, who was aboard aircraft carrier Juan Carlos I, while a flypast of jets

Captain Richard Hewitt, Commanding Officer of HMS Prince of Wales, said: “Being able to formally recognise the Spanish Royal Family, saluting King Filipe VI from the bridge of HMS Prince of Wales was a real honour.

“Coming only a few weeks after our celebrations for our Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, operating alongside the Spanish flagship represents another milestone in the operational journey of HMS Prince of Wales.”

The aircraft carrier operated with Spanish flagship Juan Carlos I and worked on commanding and controlling the multinational NATO force, enhancing allies’ ability to operate seamlessly together.

The head of the Spanish Marine Corps, Major General Rafael Roldán Tudela, said that: “For the Spanish Navy, the Fleet and for me personally it has been a great pleasure to integrate HMS Prince of Wales with our units during these days”.