GUARDIA CIVIL MOUNT SPECIAL ROUND-THE-CLOCK SECURITY OPERATION

By Humphrey Carter

DESPITE the Balearic government's anti-Iraq war stance and its clear attempts to ban allied forces from the region, the United States war ship USS Hawes sailed in to Palma yesterday. The frigate, currently serving with NATO, has recently finished an exercise with the Spanish navy in the Western Mediterranean and will be spending Easter in Majorca. The USS Hawes will remain in the Dique del Oeste until April 21 under extremely tight security with the Guardia Civil anti-terrorist squad controlling the area around the warship on land and at sea. The frigate which is 18 years old, would normally be carrying two Sea Hawk helicopters and is armed with Harpoon missile launchers. Balearic government sources said yesterday that they are not happy with the warship being in Palma and complained about the lack of sufficient notice the United States navy provides the local authority about a visit. The local government said it is concerned about having a potential terrorist target in Palma, especially under present circumstances.

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