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THE Deputy Leader of the Balearic Government, Rosa Estaras, yesterday received the bell from the naval frigate Baleares which has been decomissioned.
After 32 years of service and with 750'000 sea miles travelled, which is equivalent to 32 times round the world cruises, the frigate was withdrawn from service in March. The Minister for the Economy, Lluis Ramis de Ayreflor, was also present at the ceremony, where the Balearic General Commander, José Emilio Roldán handed over the bell. The Baleares bell will take pride of place in the Deputy Leader's main office, which once upon a time was the old headquarters for the Balearic Naval Museum. The frigate was considered as “the advancement in modernisation for the Spanish navy” in the 1970s, said Estaras, who also outlined all the missions the frigate had been sent on. Amongst the numerous missions, she recalled the frigate's participation in the Gulf War, and the escort work she performed when the Prestige oil tanker sank. The Baleares was the first missile launching frigate in the Spanish navy During her 32 years' service she fired a total of 23 missiles. Around 6'000 crew have worked on the frigate and a total of 27 commanders, the last being Manuel Ruiz and Ruiz de Cortazer, who left the ship in March.
As the Spanish naval tradition is to name ships after regions and countries, it is very likely that another ship will re-use the Baleares name.