The fleet has already crossed the Bab El Mandeb Strait, which connects the Red Sea with the Indian ocean, and is going to the Strait of Hormuz to enter the Persian Gulf, but it will cross it without a Spanish ship.
The integration of Méndez Núñez into the battle group (which includes other NATO vessels) was planned at least a year ago to improve joint training. It was planned that it would last six months, from the end of April to 31 October, when he should arrive at the port of San Diego (California) after crossing the Mediterranean sea, the red sea, the Indian Ocean, the Chinese sea and the Pacific ocean.
In addition to the Lincoln and 85 aircraft, the group includes a missile cruiser, three destroyers, an auxiliary vessel, and a submarine. The Spanish Defense Minister ordered the ship to stop escorting the US aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln until the moment when the situation with Iran becomes clear.
Spain does not want to be unwittingly drawn into a conflict with Iran, writes El Pais.
Defense Minister Margarita Robles ordered the temporary withdrawal of the Spanish frigate Mendez Nunez (F-104) with 215 sailors on Board of the battle group led by the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln.