The professionalism of ESPS Cantabria ship’s company under the leadership of Commander Jose Luis Nieto Fernandez was formally recognised recently with a Commander Australian Fleet commendations.
Rear Admiral Tim Barrett presented the awards on the flight deck of the combat support ship.
Reading from the group commendation, Rear Admiral Barrett said the ship integrated effectively into the Australian Fleet.
“Your operational focus, combined with your professionalism and expertise ensured Cantabria produced exceptional results. As a direct result of your sustained effort, Cantabria exceeded the aims and expectations set out in the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Chiefs of Navy for both Australia and Spain.”
The exceptional leadership displayed by Commanding Officer Cantabria, Commander Nieto was also recognised by an individual commendation.
“You have personally contributed to the achievement of all seven Key Performance Indicators of Cantabria’s deployment as outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding. Without your outstanding commitment and dedication, the success of Cantabria’s deployment and her seamless integration into the Royal Australian Navy Fleet would not have been achievable,” said Rear Admiral Barrett.
In accepting the award the Commanding Officer of Cantabria said “to be awarded with the Royal Navy Group Commendation after completing our deployment in Australia has been the most rewarding moment of our professional careers, and an immense honor that we will treasure forever.”
ESPS Cantabria has operating as part of the Royal Australian Navy fleet since February. While in Australia, Cantabria has taken part in mutually beneficial training and exercises with Australian ships and helicopters, including consorting the workup of two Royal Australian Navy ship’s preparing for operational deployment and supported a first of class flight trial for MRH-90 ship operating limits validation.
Having completed a successful deployment, which has enabled the Spanish Armada to evaluate her full range of capabilities, Cantabria will started her return voyage to Spain on 1 November 2013 and will arrive in Ferrol just before Christmas.
Press Release, November 04, 2013; Image: Australian Navy