ROTA / Prov. of Cádiz (Agencies) The naval base at Rota is set to become part of NATO's anti-missile shield, a strategic point in Western Euope thatby 2013 is scheduled to receive another four US Navy ships, bringing some 1,100 military personnel and their families, a total of 3,400, who will create about 1,000 direct and indirect jobs, according to an announcement made yesterday by Premier José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero at a press conference with NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, and the U.S. Secreatry of Defense, Leon Panetta. The four American ships, which will be repaired at local shipyards, will be>>>IF YOU FIND THIS ARTICLE INTERESTING, USEFUL OR ENTERTAINING, PLEASE CONSIDER THE WORK, EFFORT AND COST IT TAKES TO BRING IT TO YOU. WE WOULD APPRECIATE A DONATION TO CONTINUE A FREE SERVICE.
operating in the Mediterranean as part of the Atlantic Alliance's anti-missile system protecting Europe. "The choice of Rota is because of Spain's strategic importance as the entry to the Mediterranean.
Over the last few years NATO and Spain have invested hundreds of millions in the base, starting with the extension of the wharfs and quays, as well as the moorings that will now be the base for the American ships. Expansion of the base has been financed 60% by NATO and the rest by Spain. The announcement made yesterday is in fact the culmination of the original announcement made by Defence Minister Carme Chacón, who said at the opening of the quays, "The Naval Base is recovering its importance, becoming the reference point for naval operations world wide and to reinforce our country's commitment to our partners and allies all over the world." And so it now seems.
In his announcement yesterday, Zapatero said that the base will have a "significant impact in socio-economic terms" and that it "at no time have an 'offensive' character". He also pointed out the undoubted benefits to be had as the result of its expansion, in an area "so thoroughly afflicted by unemployment" as is the province of Cádiz.
The Government says that the fleet's arrival means maintenance and repair contracts for local service companies, including that of structural repairs and maintenance with specialized equipment coming from the US. This last will also mean training for local personnel with up-to-the-minute material, that will in the future make it easier, for instance, for local contractors to bid for other work.