MADRID, Spain (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus concluded a visit to Madrid, Spain, Feb. 10.
Mabus held a series of high-level meetings with Spanish leaders that highlighted the close defense cooperation between the United States and Spain as well as Spain's key role in NATO.
During his one-day visit to Madrid, Mabus met with the Crown Prince of Spain, His Royal Highness the Prince of Asturias; Minister of Defense Pedro Morenes, and Chief of Naval Operations Navy Adm. Munoz-Delgado.
During his meetings, Mabus noted the close collaborative working relationship between Spanish and U.S. military forces. Mabus emphasized the statement made by President Obama at last month's White House meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, that security cooperation between the two countries has never been stronger.
"For more than 200 years, the United States has enjoyed a strong partnership with our European friends, and our relationship with Spain has been one of our most vital," said Mabus. "Our two countries have served together in Afghanistan, sailed the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Guinea to combat piracy, and worked to build greater capacity for our mutual friends around the world. Together we can continue to address those areas that threaten collective security and stability around the globe."
He also met with Marines and staff assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Madrid to thank them for their service.
Mabus will travel to Rota for the Feb. 11 arrival ceremony of USS Donald Cook (DDG 75), the first of four BMD-capable Aegis ships to be forward-deployed to Rota Naval Base, which will support NATO and U.S. missions, exercises and engagements, and represent a U.S. national contribution to the NATO European missile defense architecture.
Mabus' visit to Spain is part of a multi-country trip focused on building partnerships designed to help distribute the burden of securing the global maritime domain based on alliances, shared values and mutual trust.
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