November 28, 2019 (Google Translation) – The acting Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles, has traveled today to Ferrol to receive and welcome the F-104 frigate “Méndez Núñez”, after completing a circumnavigation of more than seven months and traveling about 90,000 kilometers. For this act she has been accompanied by the Secretary of State for Defense, Ángel Olivares, and by the Chief of Staff of the Navy, Admiral General Teodoro Esteban López-Calderón, among other authorities.
Robles has told reporters that he wanted to receive the frigate to personally congratulate all his staff and his commander for “having left the flag of the Spanish Armed Forces and the Navy on a peace mission in which they have represented and they have defended Spain as only they know how to do it ”.
The “Méndez Núñez” departed from the Ferrolan base on April 12 to commemorate the V Centenary of the First World Tour of the Magallanes-Elcano expedition. During a circumnavigation that has lasted for 232 days, the Spanish frigate has carried out different naval operations and maneuvers at various points of its deployment.
Already docked the ship in the Arsenal, the minister has embarked and has addressed the crew to thank them for the work done and congratulate them for the hard months of navigation and the image they have provided of Spain in all the countries they have visited. He has then authorized them to disembark to meet their families.
The frigate came out with 214 troops and returns with 208, although up to 250 people have participated in the deployment. 20% of the crew have been women.
The frigate “Méndez Núñez” was put to sea on April 11, 2019, to join the USS aircraft carrier “Abraham Lincoln”, as one of its five escort ships.
After carrying out various operations in the Mediterranean Sea, the Combat Group moved to the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea. On May 14, the frigate separated from the group and conducted three patrols in the waters of the Gulf of Aden and in the Arabian Sea.
On July 27, the ship began the next phase of its deployment, navigating in the east direction, carrying out naval operations at sea with stops in port with the tasks of carrying out Defense Diplomacy, support to the national industry and commemorating the V Centenary of The first travel around the world.
After crossing the Panama Canal, on November 4, he concluded his mission under the command of the CMOPS. He made a logistical stopover in Norfolk, crossed the Atlantic Ocean and arrived back in Ferrol on November 28, seven and a half months after his departure.
The frigate has visited 15 ports in 12 countries and has anchored in Djibouti, Baler (Philippines) and Easter Island (Chile). He has performed exercises with naval and air units in the US, France, Indonesia, Thailand, Chile and Ecuador, and has traveled more than 50,000 nautical miles (92,000 km).
It has remained 232 days deployed, 189 of them at sea, which added to the previous activity involve 296 days outside its base, almost 10 months.