The amphibious exercise GRUFLEX-20 starts off the southwestern coast of Spain.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

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The amphibious exercise GRUFLEX-20 starts off the southwestern coast of Spain.
The amphibious exercise GRUFLEX-20 starts off the southwestern coast of Spain.
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The amphibious exercise GRUFLEX-20 starts off the southwestern coast of Spain.
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The amphibious exercise GRUFLEX-20 starts off the southwestern coast of Spain.
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The amphibious exercise GRUFLEX-20 starts off the southwestern coast of Spain.
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The amphibious exercise GRUFLEX-20 starts off the southwestern coast of Spain.
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The amphibious exercise GRUFLEX-20 starts off the southwestern coast of Spain.


On the occasion of the beginning of the amphibious exercise ‘GRUFLEX-20’ that is taking place between February 24 and March 5, the Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles visited the LHD ‘Juan Carlos I’ accompanied by the Chief of Staff of the Spanish Navy, Admiral General Teodoro López Calderón and the Fleet Commander, Admiral Manuel Garat Caramé.

The maneuvers will be conducted in several scenarios like the Bay of Huelva (‘Médano del Loro’ firing range), the Gulf of Cádiz, Rota Naval Base, the ‘Sierra del Retín’ training range and the facilities of the Cortijo de la Señuela (Lebrija). This type of amphibious exercise serves Navy units to train periodically in amphibious operations, in order to maintain the capability to project a force ashore from the sea, as well as to carry out humanitarian relief operations and responses to crisis situations.

Participating units include elements from the Amphibious and Fleet Projection Groups (GRUPFLOT): ships like the LHD ‘Juan Carlos I’, LPDs ‘Galicia’ and ‘Castilla’ with 8 amphibious landing craft (LCM-1E) belonging to the Naval Beach Group, the auxiliary oiler and replenishment ship ‘Cantabria’ and the F-80 frigate ‘Santa María’. The Spanish Army and Air Force also take part with different units and aircraft.

At the international level, the exercise has also integrated units from the US Marine Corps like the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force (Morón de la Frontera), a ‘Fuzileiros’ company from Portugal, and an Italian Navy officer who has joined the GRUPFLOT Staff.

This is a detailed list of participating units:

• LHD ‘Juan Carlos I’

• LPD ‘Galicia’

• LPD ‘Castilla’

• AOR ‘Cantabria’

• FFG ‘Santa María’

• OPV ‘Rayo’

• Naval Cell for Co-operation and Guidance for Shipping (NCAGS).

• Marine Corps Brigade as Landing Force: A landing battalion and support units.

• Aircraft (UAV Scan Eagle, and SH3D-Sea King and AB-212 helicopters).

• The Electronic Warfare Battalion 31, Information Operations Regiment No. 1 and the Spanish Army RACTA-4.

• 1 P-3M maritime patrol aircraft and 6 F-18 aircraft.

• 1 company of Portuguese ‘Fuzileiros’ (Marines) and 1 company of US Marines (SPMAGTF) integrated into the Landing Force.

In short, more than 1500 men and women belonging to the Army, Navy and Air Force; 3 allied nations, and a deployment of 6 surface ships, 10 aircraft and 91 vehicles.

    
        

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