PALMA DE MALLORCA, Spain (NNS) -- The commander of U.S. 6th Fleet strengthened ties with Spanish government and military officials on the island of Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Nov. 17.
Vice Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr. visited Palma de Mallorca to participate in a media availability with members of the local press, meet with the island's vice president, Alberto Moraques, conduct office calls with local military commanders and attend a dinner hosted by the United States Navy League (USNL) Palma de Mallorca, Spain Council.
Harris was introduced at the media availability by Ramon Socias, civil delegate of the Balearic Islands.
"Visits such as this serve to highlight our continued partnership and, more importantly, provide opportunities for us to discuss topics of mutual interest," said Harris. "Additionally, I gain a better understanding of your military and look for ways that we can continue to work together."
After meeting with the press, Harris met with the vice president to talk about historical ties between Spain and the United States, and how Palma de Mallorca is a favorite port visit for many U.S. Sailors and Marines.
"We always enjoy having the U.S. Navy visit our port," said Moraques. "We are told all the time by commanding officers of ships that this is a favorite port for American Sailors and Marines; it's good to hear the same from [Harris]."
Harris received a scenic tour of the island and attended a luncheon hosted by Spanish navy Capt. Jose Maria Urrutia, Spanish navy Balearic Islands sector chief.
"We are greatly honored to have [Harris] here with us," said Urrutia. "Spain and the United States have always shared a strong and proud relationship, and today, we are here to honor that relationship."
Following an exchange of gifts and goodbyes, Harris concluded his trip with a reception hosted by the USNL Palma de Mallorca, where he was introduced as the guest speaker by USNL Palma de Mallorca President John Graham.
"I would like to thank each and every one here, along with all the members of the Navy League around the world, for the role you play in supporting our Sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and Merchant Marines," said Harris. "In ports of call near and far from home, your hospitality and encouragement remind our troops that they do not stand alone...that their sacrifices do not go unappreciated; all of us in uniform thank all of you for what you do for us."
After his speech, Graham thanked Harris for his attendance on behalf of the USNL Palma de Mallorca.
"That was one of the most in-depth and heart-felt speeches we've had from a guest speaker since I've been president of this association," said Graham. "We thank [Harris] very much for coming to be with us tonight, and we look forward to seeing him again in the future."
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/naveur/.