July 25, 2021

Gruflex-18 returns the exercise of the Navy to Gran Canaria with four countries

Gruflex-18 returns the exercise of the Navy to Gran Canaria with four countries

Marines from Spain, Italy, Portugal and the United States have participated today in disembarkation exercises in waters near Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, where they have returned the ships and specialists of the Navy and will even practice shooting in the capital's military zone. La Isleta

The aircraft carrier "Juan Carlos I" and the frigate "Álvaro de Bazán" have carried out an air demonstration in the city prior to the Gruflex-18 maneuvers, with take-offs from Harrier and SH3D helicopters and exercises of the special operations teams .

These exercises, which also take place in the Gulf of Cadiz and the western Mediterranean, bring together some 3,100 soldiers, eight ships – Italy contributes to the amphibious assault ship "San Giusto" – one submarine, 25 aircraft and 150 vehicles.

The first Rear Admiral Ricardo Hernández has reported that Gruflex-18 is the "most important training of the Navy this year", it wanted to take advantage of its realization to visit the Canary Islands and during the weekend the boats will be shown to the public.

"We want to share the pride we have in having these units, which are really a technological milestone for the national defense industry," said Hernández, who added that the frigate "Álvaro de Bazán" visits Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the "Juan de Borbón" Puerto del Rosario (Fuerteventura).

The Rear Admiral stressed that units such as "Juan Carlos I" have "more than 90 percent of their equipment and national systems and, in addition, the most technologically advanced in electronics, satellite, radar and software."

On the aircraft carrier "Juan Carlos I", Hernandez has said that it is "a very versatile ship that does not have a single mission, since it is not only an aircraft carrier, but it is amphibious and can disembark marine infantry units on the beach or transport units. from the Army to a port and carry out humanitarian aid work in the face of natural catastrophes ".

The ship has a hospital with two operating theaters, an intensive care unit, x-rays, and dentistry, and is capable of generating medicinal oxygen, electric power and providing water to a population affected by a natural catastrophe, the military has added.

For his part, the second general commander of the Tercio de la Armada, Ángel Roldán, has commented that the landing force not only travels on board the "Juan Carlos I", but also the other ships that make up the force, such as the Spanish amphibian "Galicia" and the Italian "San Giusto".

"Amphibious assault exercises of very limited scope have been planned and we have disembarked in Fuerteventura, in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and we are going to do it tonight in Tenerife", he added.

Roldán has indicated that they are "limited" exercises, with a force of rapid entry by means of helicopters and surface, "they are of action on objective and return to the boat from where the landing has left", has outlined.

In that line has pointed out that the Navy has taken advantage of that Spain has two "magnificent facilities" in the shooting ranges of La Isleta (Gran Canaria) and Pájara (Fuerteventura), to "not only do the actions we had planned to disembark, but also to perform tactical and shooting exercises. "

"These operations allow us to work in new environments, in other scenarios that give us other planning opportunities and in unknown terrains or in those that we had not been involved in for some time", he said.

On the rejection that these maneuvers have generated in the islands, including through declarations of its regional president, Fernando Clavijo, Ángel Roldán has said that, from his point of view, "yesterday he disembarked in Tarajalejo (Fuerteventura) from 24.00 to 04.00 hours and there was no incident, leaving the beach as we found it and even better. "

"We went to the Pájara training camp and tonight we will recover those personnel and, in essence, absolutely nothing has happened, neither incidents nor complaints, we have only entered and left without creating noise or disturbing the population," he commented.

In relation to the desire of European leaders to create an EU army, Roldán has said that they are already "used" to working with European units and, in fact, in this training there is a Spanish-Italian amphibious unit, a Portuguese company and American military.

"We are already used to working with other allied armies, we have the same procedures, needs and techniques, and in NATO most of the countries are European," he concluded.


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