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Vice Admiral Francisco Javier Roca Rivero takes office as Commander of the Joint Cyberspace Command.

At the Retamares base, Madrid
January 26, 2024

 The Chief of Defence presided over the ceremony.

Vice Admiral Javier Roca Riverohas has taken office today as Commander of the Joint Cyberspace Command at the Retamares Base, in Pozuelo de Alarcón, Madrid. The ceremony was presided over by the Chief of Defence (JEMAD), Admiral General Teodoro Esteban López Calderón.

Admiral Roca began his speech by thanking the JEMAD for the confidence placed in him twice, when he proposed him for second commander in command and now, again, to occupy this position. He then praised the work done by his two predecessors, General Carlos Gómez López de Medina for his challenge as a pioneer in this exciting field and General Rafael García Hernandez for his spirit of hope and collaboration.

The new commander of the MCCE went on to thank the representatives of the organizations with which the Command works side by side every day, "to make Spain a safer and more reliable place in cyberspace, to protect our values against malicious and false campaigns that seek to destabilize and divide us, to protect our resources and to protect our companies and citizens against cyber-crime and risks to critical infrastructure. He also dedicated a few words to his subordinates, his 'gray berets', to whom he conveyed "our firm conviction that we are an elite unit with a fundamental mission: to contribute to maintaining peace, freedom and security in cyberspace, this man-made artificial environment that is essential for the functioning of society in the new digital era".

Finally, after referring to his parents, brothers, sisters, daughters and his "soul mate", his wife, in a very endearing way, he declared "absolute loyalty to His Majesty the King, Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, and publicly reiterated "my commitment to give all my possible effort to the mission that has been entrusted to me, asking the Virgen of Carmen to help us all in our daily service for the protection and defence of the Spanish people".

For his part, the JEMAD, during his speech, highlighted Admiral Roca's professional suitability due to his past as Second Commander of the Command as well as due to his career in the Navy. "I am convinced that this background will be an added value to your leadership skills to ensure that your 'gray berets' manage to move forward at the pace that this area demands and together, with loyalty and trust in both directions, keep the ship on course and speed required by the times we live in," he said.

Admiral General López Calderón also pointed out the importance of cyberspace as an area of confrontation and "its absolute dependence to operate in a multi-domain environment, which has also brought about another very novel trend, the expansion of the conflict to a terrain where neither the battlefield, nor the combatants, nor the weapons used, are under the exclusive control of the Armed Forces; This, considering the typology of actors in this field, multiplies the threats and risks significantly and, what is worse, the possibilities of cybernetic action are almost within the reach of anyone".

The appointment of Vice Admiral Javier Roca Rivero, from the General Corps of the Navy, was approved by Order 430/19118/23 dated November 28, 2023 by the Minister of Defence, published in the BOD on November 30, 2023 and is effective as of December 1, 2023.