Chief of Naval Operations Visits Spain and United Kingdom, Meets with Sailors and Focuses on Partnerships

NAVAL STATION ROTA, Spain (Aug. 17, 2022) – Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday meets with midshipmen embarked for their summer cruise aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) during a ship visit at Naval Station Rota, Spain, Aug. 17. Bulkeley arrived in Rota, Spain, Aug. 17, 2022, and became one of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces-Europe ships, which are trained and ready to conduct a wide-range of missions, to include providing ballistic missile defense and supporting NATO. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Amanda R. Gray/released)

EDINBURGH, Scotland – Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday and his wife, Linda Gilday visited Spain and the United Kingdom, Aug. 16-21, to meet with Sailors, government and military leaders.    

CNO spoke with U.S. Sailors, as well as service members assigned to our Allies and partner militaries in Rota, Spain; London, England; Faslane and Edinburgh, Scotland.   

Gilday’s visit to Rota coincided with the arrival of the guided-missile destroyer USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) to its new homeport, Naval Station Rota, Aug. 17.  Bulkeley joins three other U.S. Navy state-of-the-art destroyers that are a part of Forward Deployed Naval Forces-Europe (FDNF-E), USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51), USS Paul Ignatius (DDG 117), and USS Roosevelt (DDG 80).       

Gilday participated in a flag raising ceremony alongside Admiral of the Spanish Fleet, Adm. Eugenio Díaz del Río Jaudenes where together they hoisted the Spanish flag aboard Bulkeley.  

Speaking afterward to media, Gilday explained the significance of presence and the strength of the partnership between the U.S. and Spanish navies.    

“Spain remains one of our closest partners particularly in the maritime,” said Gilday.  “The global economy floats on seawater…the U.S. Navy’s ability to have our destroyers forward-deployed in Spain is an exceptional opportunity for us to help keep sea lanes open, to work with closely with our Allies and partners.”  

He later explained, “Our ships here in Rota are equipped with the most advanced capabilities and together with the Spanish Navy we will continue to operate and sail strongly side by side to assure our NATO Allies.”    

CNO and Linda also toured and spoke with Sailors assigned to Arleigh Burke.    

“What you do every day is not insignificant…I am extremely proud of this ship and everything you are doing, the ship means nothing without the crew and this is an exceptionally talented and dedicated team of warfighters,” Gilday said while speaking to the Sailors.    

Both CNO and Linda participated in engagements with the local community, which included meetings with Rota’s Mayor Javier Ruiz Arana, along with other local city officials.   

CNO began his U.K. engagements in London, where he was the keynote speaker at the dedication ceremony of the USS Osprey (AM 56) bell at the United States Embassy.  USS Osprey was a Raven-class minesweeper that supported the invasion of Normandy, Operation Overlord. The ship struck an enemy mine the night before the invasion of Normandy while clearing the channel for the invasion.  Six members of the crew died, becoming among the first of D-Day casualties.  

“Today, the Osprey bell echoes with history… and today it rings again, proclaiming the honor, courage and commitment of those who served so nobly at sea,” said Gilday. “Let us be strengthened by the courage of Osprey’s Sailors, let us be heartened by their valor, and let us be inspired by their memory to preserve our freedom.”    

Gilday also visited the London Tech Bridge, where he exchanged views on the importance of this innovation hub and the partnership and collaboration with the U.S.-U.K. military, industry, academia and small businesses. They can adapt technology and equipment that could benefit both Allied navies.

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Information vetted by the Veteran X Team.


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