How is Coronavirus Outbreak Affecting US Naval Base in Spain?

The Rota Naval Base complex is a joint bastion that hosts the Spanish and US Navy. On its more than 2,000 hectares there is an airport and a port with a capacity of a thousand ships per year.

Spanish Defence Minister Margarita Robles on Monday confirmed that the first coronavirus victim in the province of Cadiz, where the US Rota Naval Base is located, was an officer.

Shortly thereafter, his inner circle, including family, was isolated (about twelve people).

The news has sparked a conversation about the base’s future, which, no matter how much is discussed, would never close due to a number of reasons: firstly, because even a temporary closure would be a blow to Spain’s southern region; secondy, because the United States seeks to expand the presence of its Sixth Fleet, which is deployed in this area of the Atlantic and controls access to the Mediterranean.

Manuel Urbina, President of the Working Group of the Rota Naval Base (Cadiz), Fernando Herrera, Commissioner for Prevention of Dangerous Situations of the airport management company, and Mayor of Rota Javier Ruiz Arana have shared their views on the matter.

“It’s clear that the base is very important; every day planes and ships arrive in Rota, although at the moment we don’t have specific protocols beyond those developed by the WHO”, Manuel Urbina said.

To date, the airport hasn’t changed its operations schedule. Its capacity is 20,000 flights per year, which is important, since it is not exclusively a…

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