The crews of the ‘Blas de Lezo’ and the ‘Cantabria’, integrated into the Permanent Grouping of NATO No. 2, under the operational control of the Operations Command, are scheduled to call, on June 10, in the port of Malaga along with the Canadian frigate ‘Montreal’. An entry into port before beginning its participation as SNMG-2 in the Navy exercise FLOTEX-22. This exercise will take place between June 13 and 24.
Since the frigate ‘Blas de Lezo’ was integrated into the SNMG-2 on January 25, it accumulates more than 140 days outside its base and has sailed more than 20,000 nautical miles, operating practically throughout the period in the Eastern Mediterranean. It has been conducting enhanced surveillance and collaborating with NATO units contributing to deterrence and defense at and from the sea.
For its part, the BAC ‘Cantabria’ was integrated into the NATO grouping on May 10, accumulating 39 days of deployment in which it has sailed some 7900 miles. In addition to participating in missions with the ‘Blas de Lezo’ in the Eastern Mediterranean, it has made 15 supplies of various types to the ships integrated in the SNMG2.
The frigate ‘Blas de Lezo’ is the third of the five frigates of the ‘Álvaro de Bazán’ class (F-100), which are part of the 31st Surface Squadron. She was delivered to the Navy in December 2004. It has a length of 147 meters, a beam of 18.6 meters, and a displacement of more than 6,000 tons.
These F-100 multipurpose frigates are considered one of the best escorts in the world, highlighting their anti-aircraft and command and control capabilities, as a command ship. For this, it has the AEGIS Combat System that together with the associated SPY 1-D multifunction radar, provide it with a great detection capacity, even in coastal waters, as well as the necessary firepower.
Under the command of the frigate captain Luis Carreras-Presas do Campo, the ship has a crew of more than 200 people including an Embarked Air Unit (UNAEMB) of the 10th Squadron, a Security Operational Team
The BAC ‘Cantabria’, on the other hand, is a Combat Supply Ship built by Navantia in its factory in Puerto Real, and is also integrated into the 31st Surface Squadron based in Ferrol. It was delivered to the Navy in 2010, and with its 174 meters in length and its displacement of almost 20000 tons it is the second largest ship in the Navy.
Its design allows it to perform multi-mission roles, the main one being the supply of fuel, food, spare parts and ammunition to the naval units with which it operates and interacts thanks to its combat system and advanced communications. But it can also be used as a health support vessel, thanks to having a complete hospital with operating room, ICU, X-rays, and dental office. Another of its possibilities of use is the fight against marine pollution, or serve as a deployment platform for special operations units.
Under the command of the frigate captain Alberto Torres Alles, it has a staff of more than 180 people including an Embarked Air Unit of the 5th Squadron with an SH-3D helicopter, a Marine Infantry Security Operational Team and a medical team (ROLE-1) reinforced with a dentist.