Forces from the United States and Spain are conducting
Exercise Matador 96 -- the largest live, combined/joint task
force exercise conducted in the European theater of operations
this year -- from May 7th to May 24th in the Western
Mediterranean and ashore at several locations in Spain.
The exercise provides U.S. and Spanish forces an opportunity
to conduct combined/joint training and to improve the
interoperability of land, sea and air forces of both nations.
The exercise includes a series of training opportunities at sea,
in the air and ashore -- including a non-combatant evacuation
operation. Various U.S. sea, air and land forces are
participating in the operation alongside their Spanish
The exercise will be controlled from the fleet command ship,
USS LaSalle. This is the first time a combined/joint task force
afloat has been stood up in the Mediterranean theater of
operations. Approximately 11,000 U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen
and Marines are participating in this exercise.