MADRID — Two U.S. warships on a routine port call to the Mediterranean island of Majorca departed unexpectedly, leaving 100 crew members behind, a U.S. Embassy spokesman said today.
The spokesman said the aircraft carrier Eisenhower and the guided missile cruiser Mississippi left the port of Palma Thursday night "due to an operational schedule change."
He declined to give the reason for the hurried departure and Cmdr. Gordon Peterson of the U.S. Navy Forces European Command in London said reports linking the deployment to an evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut were "pure speculation."
"I cannot discuss their future operations," he said.
The ships left so quickly that about 100 sailors were left behind on the resort island, said the spokesman in Madrid.