NATO to hold military drill in waters south of Spain.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is to conduct an amphibious military drill in the waters south of Spain from May 30, the Spanish Defense Ministry said Tuesday.

Navies from Germany, Denmark, Spain, the United States, France, Greece, the Netherlands, Italy, Portugal, Britain and Turkey will participate in the drill named Neotapon 05 under the direction of fleet admiral Angel Tello Valero.

The drill, which is held annually, aimed to strengthen the ability of amphibious operations of NATO's naval forces, a Defense Ministry communique said.

The navies will be trained in a fictitious scenario of international crisis in which vessels are to carry out amphibious operations, it said.

The European amphibious troops, jointly built in 2000 by Spain, France, the Netherlands, Italy and Britain, will participate in the drill for the first time. Spain will deploy 27 ships and an aircraft-carrier.

[Source: Xinhua News Agency, Madrid, 22May05]

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