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Operations Command sends two aircraft to Tel Aviv for the repatriation of Spaniards in the area.

October 11, 2023
  • Following the escalation of violence in Israel, the Spanish Ministry of Defence has carried out operation 'E/I' to rescue civilian personnel.

The Operations Command has activated the repatriation operation for Spanish personnel temporarily in Israel. Two A330 aircraft of the Air and Space Army, Group 45, have been sent to Ben Gurion International Airport to bring 429 Spanish nationals and other nationalities back to Spain.

With the lessons learned from the evacuations of Afghanistan, Sudan and recently Niger, the Operations Command staff began planning the dispatch of the aircraft as an emergency and with all the necessary security measures.

The operation consisted of about 50 military personnel, coordinated by Operations Command and the Joint Force Air Component (JFAC).

On Tuesday 10, the first A330 took off for Israel at 15:30 and returned to Spain in the early hours of the morning of the 11th, with 209 civilians on board.

The second aircraft took off on Wednesday 11 from Torrejón Air Base at 07:00 hours to return to Spain at 22:00 hours on the same day, with 211 adults and 9 minors on board.

Once again, the Armed Forces have demonstrated their ability to react quickly to fulfil their mission by their effective planning, conduct and execution of operations.


In 2021, in an operation on the edge, in a first operation from 18 to 27 August, 130 military personnel were deployed in Kabul and Dubai to rescue 2,206 Afghans. Most were people who had worked for the Spanish Armed Forces and Spanish cooperation over the past two decades, with their families, 1,677 in total. There were also 333 former European Union employees, 131 from the United States, 21 from Portugal and 50 from NATO.

The operation involved nearly 90 military personnel from the 1st Parachute Brigade Flag and the Army Operations Command, 80 members of the 31st Wing, the 45th Group, the Air Deployment Support Squadron and the Air and Space Army Aero Evacuation Medical Unit, a reconnaissance and operational liaison team from the Operations Command, and personnel from the Joint Special Operations Command and the Joint Force Air Component, among others.


In August 2023, the theatre of tension shifted to Niger, where our Armed Forces conducted an operation to evacuate 74 civilians from 19 countries from Niamey airport in an A330 aircraft.

On 1 August, the planning group was activated to prepare its own evacuation mission, and on 2 August the entire operation was ready at the Torrejón Air Base. It was on the 3rd that the air movements of the Air Force A330 began. That same day it returned to Spain with 74 people evacuated from the conflict.