Deputy Secretary of Defense Spokesperson James Swartout provided the following readout:
Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense Christine Fox welcomed Spain's Secretary of State for Defense Pedro Argüelles to the Pentagon today.
Fox and Argüelles spoke on a range of mutual security issues, including the current situation in Ukraine, and reaffirmed the need for enhancing collective security through NATO. The two leaders also discussed the importance of the U.S. -Spain partnership, emphasizing the role of a healthy industrial defense base.
Fox conveyed her deep appreciation for Spain's hospitality towards U.S. service members and their families in Morón and Rota, as well as for Spain's support of other initiatives that benefit our countries and strengthen European security.
Spain's agreement to host four Ballistic Missile Defense-capable Aegis ships at Rota is a critical element to U.S. support for European missile defense. Stationing these ships at Rota also provides additional opportunities for joint training and deeper cooperation between the U.S. and Spanish navies.
In addition, Fox shared her personal thanks to Spain for support to the mission of the Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response at Morón. Spain recently agreed to an extension of the mission duration, as well as an increase in the number of Marines who can temporarily base there. Forward-basing of the SP-MAGTF CR in Europe increases the capability of the U.S. military to rapidly respond to incidents on the African continent, while facilitating joint training and increasing interoperability between U.S. and Spanish military forces.
Fox and Argüelles discussed the strategic importance of the African continent and highlighted the crucial role played by the United States Africa Command in ensuring stability and promoting partnerships in the region.
The Department of Defense will continue to work closely with our Spanish allies to find ways to broaden and deepen our bilateral defense relationship. Our cooperation reflects the alliance and friendship between our countries that has flourished for decades.