Operation 'Centinela Gallego 2022' resulted in more than 80 sightings of incidents reported to the “Xunta de Galicia”. The Armed Forces deployed an operation made up of 30 Army ground patrols and unmanned aerial vehicles. The objective was to carry out wildfire surveillance, dissuasion and prevention tasks in 33 Galician villages, spread over a total of 7 forest districts. The local authorities consider that the balance has been very positive.
The operation started on August 15 and ended on October 1 with the retreat of all personnel to their bases. During this month and a half, around 130 soldiers were deployed per day, adding a final contribution of 350 military, using a total of 85 assorted vehicles. A total of 320,000 kilometers were traveled and around 5,600 patrols were carried out, both with presence in municipalities and surveillance from different observatories. Likewise, a total of 11,000 minutes of surveillance and watching were added by using Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS).
The PASI system (Autonomous Sensorized Intelligence Platform) was incorporated into this campaign, a 400 kg aircraft with autonomy of 15 hours. Also noteworthy is the work carried out by the 'RAVEN' system, a much lighter and more versatile system, a usual one within this campaigns. The use of these aerial resources improves the use of prevention teams, considerably reduces their reaction times and optimizes the decision-making process on the ground.
The deployment of these unmanned aerial systems has allowed the location and reporting of 28 fire-related incidents, and 7 incidents were also detected in Portugal in areas close to the border.
With the aim of reinforcing the operational capability of the entire firefighting force and maintaining permanent coordination between all administrations, the images provided by the unmanned aircraft deployed in the operation were also transmitted to the Central Fire Defence against Wildfire Coordination Center that the “Xunta de Galicia” maintain in Santiago de Compostela.
Personnel and resources from the 7th “Galicia” Brigade (BRILAT), the 1st Intelligence Regiment of the Maneuver Support Command and the Navy’s “Tercio Norte” (Northern Regiment) based in Ferrol. In total, 25 patrols from BRILAT and 5 from TERNOR took part in the deployment.
The military units acted under the operational control of the Operations Command (MOPS), deploying in the areas assigned by the “Xunta de Galicia” in three of the four Galician provinces, a total of 33 municipalities of the Galician geography of 7 forest districts.
Both the regional administration and the local authorities thank the Armed Forces for their involvement in the fight against wildfires in Galicia, valuing the work in terms of surveillance and deterrence of criminal arson activity in the Galician mountains. The military deployed throughout the territory convey trust to the population and constitute an indispensable reinforcement in times of high risk due to the available resources in the “Xunta” and other public administrations. It is important to highlight the good harmony with all the local authorities and the “Xunta” heads. During the development of the operation, the military patrols maintained permanent contact with all the civil authorities as well as with the different coordination centres responsible for fire fighting, both at the regional and provincial levels.
During this month and a half, the military participating in the operation become sentinels of the Galician mountain, ensuring the protection of the natural heritage that Galicia possess, establishing close and cordial contact with the civilian population and providing visibility to the commitment of the Armed Forces with Spanish society.