Naval Station Rota, Spain and Base Naval de Rota commemorated 60 years of partnership in Rota between the United States and Spain, during a daylong celebration aboard Naval Station Rota, Spain, Sept. 26.
The celebration started mid-morning with static displays and ship tours followed by an evening ceremony that featured a combined pass and review. The night ended with a U.S – Spanish party with music, food and entertainment that represented both nations.
Guest speakers included U.S. Ambassador to Spain and Andorra, James Costos and Spanish navy Admiral of Naval Action Vice Adm. Juan Rodriguez Garat.
“Our Spanish friends have truly been ambassadors for their country, and very good ones at that,” said Costos. “It is very hard to find an American who has served at Rota with a bad thing to say about Spain.”
Garat said base leadership is extremely proud of each and every service member, family member and civilian employee who gives their time and efforts toward the success of the base.
“We don’t really need events like this to make it stronger, because we are vital to [the United States] just as they are vital to us. But these events do support the stability of this strong relationship,” said Garat. “It was clear in both my speech and the Ambassador’s that we are extremely proud of the achievements of this naval base. I think it has relevant capabilities; it is important toward our collective defense and our future. In the future, we will have to continue to work as hard as our predecessors to make sure the base continues to be relevant and useful.”
Naval Station Rota was established in 1953, following the signing of an agreement for facilities use between the United States and Spain. The agreement required two years of surveys, negotiations and planning which led to ground breaking on the base in 1955.
Press Release, September 30, 2013; Image: US Navy