Naval Station Rota, Spain— U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly, who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, was in Rota, Spain, on the final stop of the congressional delegation he has been leading this past week. Donnelly and the delegation toured Naval Station Rota and went onboard an U.S. Navy Aegis-class destroyer to observe its missile defense capabilities firsthand. Donnelly is Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, which oversees U.S. missile defense programs, as well as U.S. collaborative missile defense programs.
Donnelly said, “Our military’s diverse set of tools is a tremendous asset as we counter threats across the Middle East and the world. Throughout this trip, I’ve been able to see the missile defense capabilities of our military and of our allies. As we work to keep Hoosier and American families safe, it remains clear that we need strong and capable missile defense systems that can effectively counter the very real threats the United States and our allies face.”
Prior to Spain, Donnelly traveled to Israel, the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), Bahrain, and Iraq.
In Israel, Donnelly met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and visited Israel military sites to get an update on the country’s missile defense systems and joint missile defense efforts with the U.S. Donnelly also met with Israel Defense Force (IDF) soldiers and the U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro. As part of his continued support for critical missile defense efforts, Donnelly and Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee, recently sent a bipartisan letter to President Obama. Donnelly and Sessions highlighted the importance of investments in U.S. missile defense capabilities, and the need to strengthen our partnerships with allies around the world, particularly Israel.
In the U.A.E., he met U.S. military leaders as well as a member of the U.A.E. Ministry of Defense, and toured Emirati missile defense sites. He was in the U.A.E. to review U.S. efforts to strengthen cooperation among Arab Gulf states on missile defense.
In Bahrain, Donnelly met with U.S. Navy leadership and servicemembers, including Hoosiers, to discuss regional threats impacting U.S. allies in the Middle East. During the visit, Donnelly met servicemembers aboard the U.S.S. Harry S. Truman, an aircraft carrier deployed in the Persian Gulf.
In Iraq, he met with U.S. and Iraqi military commanders as well as U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Stuart Jones, visited several military sites across Iraq, and met with Hoosier servicemembers.