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 Deployments and operations

Diplomacy and Cooperative security activities

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Defence Diplomacy is the set of international activities mainly based on dialogue and cooperation carried out by the Ministry of Defence at a bilateral level with our allies, partners and friendly countries to promote the fulfilment of the defence policy objectives in support of State’s external action.

These activities are developed through a Defence Diplomacy Plan whose main axes are:

  • The planning and development of Defence Policy actions in the international arena.
  • The preparation, negotiation and proposal of international treaties, agreements, conventions and conferences of interest to national defence, in all its areas and competences, and in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Monitoring and evaluation of the international situation in the field of security and defence policy.

Within the development of this Plan, activities such as the following are considered:

  • Strengthening of capabilities related to prevention and stabilization in zones of crisis or conflict.
  • A Cooperation Programme in the field of Military Education
  • The involvement in exercises as part of the measures to promote trust and transparency with countries of interest.
Cooperative Security

Over the past two decades, the Alliance has developed a network of structured partnerships with the countries of the Euro-Atlantic zone, the Mediterranean and the Gulf region, as well as individual relationships with partners around the world. To date, NATO pursues dialogue and real cooperation with its partner countries, and actively engages with other international players and organizations on a wide range of political and security issues.

These relationships have been reflected in different forums and frameworks: the NATO-Russia Council; the Mediterranean Dialogue with the countries of the southern shore of the Mediterranean (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Mauritania, Tunisia) and of which Spain has been one of the main promoters; the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative with Persian Gulf countries (Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates); the NATO-Ukraine Commission and the NATO-Georgia Commission; as well as the rest of the countries that participate in the Euro-Atlantic Partnership. NATO also cooperates regularly with other international organizations, such as the UN, the EU and the OSCE.

NATO’s Strategic Concept identifies “cooperative security” as one of NATO’s three essential core tasks. It states that the promotion of Euro-Atlantic security is best assured through a wide network of partner relationships with countries and organisations around the globe. These partnerships make a concrete and valued contribution and provide political support to the success of NATO’s fundamental tasks. An effort to reform NATO's partnership policy was launched at the Lisbon Summit to achieve more inclusive, flexible, meaningful and strategically oriented dialogue and cooperation.

African deployment
  • Spanish Mission

In recent years, several cooperation activities have been developed on the African continent within the framework of Defence Diplomacy and as a contribution of the Armed Forces to the State's external action.

These initiatives have been reflected in the deployments of naval units that carry out maritime security and cooperative security operations with various countries in West Africa.

Spanish patrol boat’s objective is to develop the capabilities of African nations in the control of their own territorial waters through joint training exercises, which is why the vessel, initially, made stops in Mauritania, Gabon, Ghana , Senegal and Cape Verde, which were later expanded to other countries in the region.

Patrol vessel ‘Centinela’ is currently deployed in the Gulf of Guinea and West Africa where it will remain until the end of 2018.

  • Mandate

The Defence Diplomacy Plan is a set of activities, mainly based on dialogue and cooperation, carried out by the Ministry of Defence at the bilateral level with partner and allied countries to prevent conflicts or strengthen security capacities.

These deployments allows for the presence in areas of vital interest to the security of Spain, as indicated in the National Security Strategy in reference to the Gulf of Guinea.

Spanish military help increase security in this volatile region of West Africa.

  • Background

The Gulf of Guinea is considered one of the places in the world capable of destabilizing security in general.

The atmosphere of instability is led by terrorist groups or criminal gangs dedicated to drug or human trafficking, not forgetting the rise of piracy in those waters.

These circumstances make the region a fundamental element for the Security and Defence of Spain and Europe.

2020

  • November 5th. BAM 'Tornado' carry out Cooperative Security activities along with Senegal's Navy.
  • October 16th.  BAM 'Tornado' sets off from its home port in Gran Canaria for a two month period, to carry out maritime surveillance activities. 

2019

  • March 1st. Offshore patrol vessel ‘Serviola’, commanded by Lieutenant Commander Ramón González-Cela Echevarría, leaves Ferrol to deploy in the Gulf of Guinea and West Africa for 4 months.

2018

  • August 18th. Patrol vessel ‘Centinela’ sets off from Ferrol to deploy in the Gulf of Guinea and West Africa for 4 months
  • March 26th. Patrol boat 'Infanta Elena' along with some thirty countries, of which 19 are African and 11 European, participate in international exercises, led by the United States, in the Gulf of Guinea, which aim to fight piracy , drug trafficking and illegal fishing among other illegal activities.
  • March 1st. Within the framework of the Defence Diplomacy Plan and following up the 'Africa Partnership Station' initiative, the offshore patrol vessel 'Infanta Elena' sets sail from Cartagena (Murcia) to start its deployment in the Gulf of Guinea and West Africa that will last until June 27.

2017

  • August 16th. Patrol vessel 'Infanta Cristina' starts its deployment setting off from its base in Cartagena for a period of 4 months. During its deployment to Africa, the ship plans to call in Cape Verde; Senegal; Ghana; Cameroon; Sao Tome and Principe; Angola; Gabon; and Ivory Coast.
  • February 28th. Patrol vessel 'Vigía' starts its deployment departing from the port of Cádiz bound for the Gulf of Guinea and West Africa.

2016

  • September. Patrol vessel 'Serviola' carries out cooperative security and military cooperation activities in Senegal, Cameroon and Cape Verde, as well as advising and training military personnel and units of the respective navies.
  • February. Patrol vessel 'Atalaya' maximizes the opportunities for interaction with the African navies and with Portuguese and French units also deployed on the West African coast.

2015

  • August. Patrol vessel 'Centinela' sets sail to carry out cooperative security activities and military cooperation in Senegal, Ghana and Cameroon and Cape Verde.
  • March. Patrol vessel 'Vencedora' sets sail from Cartagena to start cooperative security activities in West Africa during the first half of the year.

2014

  • September 22nd. Military assistance mission in Cape Verde begins.

2013

  • May 31st. The Council of Ministers approves the National Security Strategy, which establishes the Gulf of Guinea as a vital area for Spanish interests.

2011

  • July 27th. The Defence Diplomacy Plan is formally presented at the Air Force headquarters.

2002

  • December 18th. The Strategic Defence Review is presented in Congress, introducing the concept of defence diplomacy for the first time.

 

2020

  • 16 de octubre. El BAM 'Tornado' zarpa desde su base en Gran Canaria para realizar actividades de vigilancia marítima por un periodo de 2 meses.

NOTAS DE PRENSA DEL EMAD SOBRE SEGURIDAD COOPERATIVA Y ACTIVIDADES DE DIPLOMACIA

  • Spanish soldiers instruct the Senegalese Armed Forces in logistics

    Spanish soldiers instruct the Senegalese Armed Forces in logistics

    Spanish soldiers instruct the Senegalese Armed Forces in logistics

    2020/11/06

    Dakar

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  • Training on health emergencies

    Patrol vessel “Tornado” carry out cooperative security activities along with Senegal's Navy

    Patrol vessel “Tornado” carry out cooperative security activities along with Senegal's Navy

    2020/11/05

    Dakar, Senegal

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  • Vessel 'Tornado' sets off

    Vessel “Tornado” starts its deployment on the West African coast and the Gulf of Guinea

    Vessel “Tornado” starts its deployment on the West African coast and the Gulf of Guinea

    2020/10/16

    En la mar

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  • The frigate 'Blas de Lezo' returns to Ferrol

    The frigate 'Blas de Lezo' returns to Ferrol

    The frigate 'Blas de Lezo' returns to Ferrol

    2020/04/08

    Atlantic Ocean and North Sea

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  • The frigate ‘Blas de Lezo’ will train with the French aircraft carrier ‘Charles de Gaulle’

    The frigate ‘Blas de Lezo’ will train with the French aircraft carrier ‘Charles de Gaulle’

    The frigate ‘Blas de Lezo’ will train with the French aircraft carrier ‘Charles de Gaulle’

    2020/03/03

    Atlantic Ocean

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