The U.S. ambassador to Spain and Andorra toured Naval Station Rota, Spain, March 8, as part of a regional tour.
Alan Solomont received updates from base leadership concerning key issues that are impacting personnel and families stationed at the Naval Station Rota. He also spoke with several service members to reiterate his appreciation for their service and sacrifice and that of their families.
“I deeply appreciate the efforts that members assigned to the base give in order to project a positive image of the United States,” said Solomont. “As the U.S. presence expands in Spain, so does your responsibilities as neighbors.”
To show his gratitude to Spain, Solomont met with the Mayor of Cadiz Teofila Martinez and presented a ceremonial copy of the U.S. Constitution, recognizing Cadiz’s bicentennial celebration of the Spanish Constitution of 1812.
Solomont also discussed the potential impact forward deployed naval forces will have on Rota with the Mayor of Rota Eva Maria Corrales.
“To their Spanish neighbors, the service members and their families at Naval Station Rota are the face of America,” said Solomont. “Everyone here is an ambassador.”
Solomont added that the highlight of his tour was a session at David G. Farragut High School where he was given the opportunity to speak with students concerning their future goals. He was also presented a signed photo by senior Trevon Owens. The photo was from an earlier visit to the base in which Solomont crowned the homecoming king and queen during a homecoming football game.
Solomont said that he feels privileged to be able to participant in events held at the school. He is scheduled to return to the base later this summer to serve as the guest speaker for the high school’s graduation.
“The U.S. is grateful for Spain’s strong partnership on our common security issues,” said Solomont. “Rota is one of the most important bases in NATO and the fact that the U.S. is investing in Rota at a time of limited resources tells you how important this base is to the security of Europe and the United States.”
Naval Today Staff , March 12, 2012; Image: navy