Partnership through Community Relations in Rota, Spain

Four people carrying desks and chairs while wearing face masks.

Reposted from DVIDS

Story by Courtney PollockNaval Station Rota, Spain

Recently, Naval Station (NAVSTA) Rota community members participated in multiple community relations (COMREL) projects at local Spanish schools. The schools needed assistance in getting the facilities compliant with new mitigation measures to ensure the safety of the children, staff, and parents.

Sailors from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133 completed a COMREL construction project for the school, Pedro Antonio de Alarcón, in Rota. The three-day project included the installation of an additional gate to the back wall of the school. This created an additional access point to further distribute student and parent traffic when entering and exiting the school grounds.

The following week, NAVSTA Rota community members – enlisted Sailors, officers, and civilians – took part in a COMREL project at Marqués de Santa Cruz in El Puerto de Santa María, Spain.

“The volunteers arrived all ready and happy to help and give back to the community,” said Brenda Navarro Castellet, NAVSTA Rota’s host nation protocol advisor.

On the first day, the volunteers participated in clearing out furniture from the school library and putting it in storage, and then relocating desks to the library since it will be utilized as an additional classroom this year. The second day included cleaning and clearing the patios of weeds and debris that accumulated during the summer break.

Navarro Castellet described the COMREL projects as exemplifying the “true NAVSTA Rota spirit.”

One of the commands to participate was Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center (NAVSUP FLC) Sigonella, Site Rota.

“It is important for us to go out and show the local community the outstanding team members – military, GS, civilian, and host nation – that make up our team and that we view the community as part of our family,” said Cmdr. Bert Phillips, site director for NAVSUP FLC Sigonella - Rota. “We appreciate all that this region has to offer, the culture, the friendship, and the customs and we consider ourselves blessed to be able to give back and show our involvement within the community.”

Phillips went on to explain that many personnel send their children to off-base schools and this was just one small gesture that Team Rota could do to show their appreciation to the local schools, administrators, and host nation.

“I’m proud of our community and their efforts to show up and assist those around us – both within the base and the surrounding areas,” said Capt. David Baird, NAVSTA Rota commanding officer. “The strong partnership we have with our host nation, Spanish Navy and local cities shows that Team Rota extends outside the gate.”