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Spanish eyes on Somerset
24 November 2015

HMS Somerset became the first Royal Navy ship in a number of years to visit the Spanish port of Valencia.

The Type 23 hosted representatives from Armed Forces charities and the regional government during her visit to Spain’s third-largest city.

Somerset recently completed a security patrol of the Mediterranean in support of the European Heads of Government meeting in Malta.

While alongside Somerset hosted a delegation led by Juan Carlos Valderrama Zurián, the Central Government Representative for the Valencia region, which also included key representatives from the Civil Guard and the port authorities.

Somerset’s CO Cdr Michael Wood said: Spain is an important ally and close partner, especially at sea, as both nations have a strong maritime heritage and work together on a regular basis to counter the scourge of piracy, criminality and terrorism.”

During the visit and tour of the ship’s facilities discussions included the recent successes in counter narcotics operations that have been achieved  through cross border co-operation, resulting in over half a billion pounds of drugs being seized in a single boarding.

Cdr Wood added: “It is also wonderful to be able to repay in some small way the hospitality extended by Spain to the large ex-pat community.”

As well as the government delegates, the ship hosted a thank you lunch for representatives of the Armed Forces charities that do so much to help not only ex-military but also the wider ex-pat community who have chosen to make Spain their home.