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Spain withdraws frigate from US Gulf mission

17 May 2019
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Spain has withdrawn its F-100-class frigate from a prolonged exercise with the USS Abraham Lincoln -led carrier group after it was ordered to the Gulf in a stand-off with Iran.

Acting Defence Minister Margarita Robles said on 14 May that Méndez Núñez (F-104) had been pulled out temporarily because of the change in the carrier group's programme, with government sources saying it was on its way to the Indian port of Mumbai.

However, if the carrier group's deployment were to become prolonged, Méndez Núñez would be diverted to join the EU's Operation 'Atalanta' counter-piracy mission off Somalia, she added.

The frigate, which has 215 crew on board, is the sole non-US ship in the carrier group.

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