During the 25th and 26th of October the III Seminar of Permanent Operations has been held at the Retamares Base (Madrid), headquarters of the Operations Command. The objective was to share the working procedures for the conduct of permanent operations, which are under the operational control of the Commander of the Operations Command, and thus identify areas and aspects that improve efficiency and coordination.
During the conference, the Commanders of the Operations Command and the Land (MOT), Maritime (MOM), Aerospace (MOA) and Cyberspace (MOC) Operational Commands discussed the current situation of Permanent Operations. ‘The aim is to provide maximum security for all Spaniards in our land, maritime, aerospace and cyberspace areas; in short, areas of national interest and sovereignty’, explained the CMOPS, Lieutenant General Francisco Braco.
‘To do this -he added- we contribute to the deterrence of potential threats with a 24-hour presence 365 days a year, and thus having a perfect knowledge of the environment, to enter effectively, whenever we are asked to do so in a crisis’.
On the part of the Land Operational Command, General Alejandro Gonzalo Escámez Fernandez, highlighted that thanks to the daily work, it has been demonstrated that the Permanent Operations are a fast and efficient tool that contributes to the National Defence. ‘As an example of this - he explained- we can cite the rapid intervention of the Ground Operational Command in Ceuta, when there was a continuous and massive entry of migrant personnel at the Tarajal border, where MOT units intervened immediately to provide support to the State Security Forces and Corps in the tasks of protection and surveillance’.
More recently, the MOT, and in the context of the volcanic eruption on the island of La Palma, has also demonstrated a rapid intervention by making available to the Military Authority a Unit that was on the ground performing reconnaissance and surveillance tasks.
‘At the moment, in addition to the deployment on the sovereign islands and rocks, we are deployed in six of the eight Canary Islands, as well as in Ceuta and Melilla, where the units are carrying out activities that allow us to obtain a better knowledge of the geographical environment to guarantee the defence of the territory’, concluded General Escámez.
The CMOM, Vice Admiral Juan Sobrino Pérez-Crespo, has spoken about the next African Deployment, as well as the current maritime surveillance and security integrations of the ships under his command in the area of the Strait of Gibraltar and the Alboran Sea. ‘These are constant activations, thanks to which we have a knowledge of the maritime environment of waters of national sovereignty and national interest, and also collaborates and supports other public agencies in the control of maritime traffic, fishing surveillance, search and rescue of shipwrecked, among other actions’, said the CMOM.
He has also highlighted the readiness of means such as the Maritime Action Ships ‘Meteoro’ and ‘Tornado’, in the Canary Islands area, ‘in case it is necessary to intervene in any contingency in La Palma’.
At the end of the year an activation will be carried out in which the Maritime Operational Command will have integrated into its functions the Coastal Artillery Unit in the Balearic Islands.
The CMOA, Lieutenant General Francisco González-Espresati, as the person responsible for air surveillance and security operations in Spanish airspace, analysed the ‘Eagle Eye’ operational activities carried out during the year. ‘We are responsible for the activation and integration of all air, land and maritime resources, so that they are operational and ready to carry out aerospace security. In this way, this activation contributes to improving the integration of all the capabilities and the efficiency of the National Aerospace Defence System’.
The sum of the capabilities provided by the Army and the Navy together adds great value to Spain's defence.
Finally, the CMOC, General Rafael García Hernández, stressed that in cyberspace ‘we all fight, civilians and military, every day; we are all responsible for cybersecurity’.
He also confirmed that our future operations will not conceive of any specific operation in an isolated domain, ‘they will be multi-domain and the cyber domain will be very present, so we must not only increase our capabilities but the person is fundamental. We must be able to recruit, train and retain talent, to be able to use the IT tools that will guarantee us freedom of action in cyberspace’.
There is increasing exposure in the realm of cyberspace and it will increase exponentially every day with every technological advance, ‘whoever dominates cyberspace will dominate the race’, concluded the CMOC.