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Periodista del EMAD

Joint Force Command Norfolk participation in exercise 'STEADFAST DEFENDER 24'

In Norfolk, Estados Unidos
March 15, 2023
  • This is the first time this Headquarters has been activated as a 'Warfighting Joint Task Force Headquarters.

The Spanish participation in the first phase of the NATO exercise 'STEADFAST DEFENDER 24' has now finished. This is the Alliance's most ambitious exercise since the end of the Cold War.

In this first phase, all 32 NATO members, including Sweden, have participated. The main objective has been to verify, on a large scale, the Alliance's capability to defend itself against potential adversaries and to reinforce collective security within its area of responsibility and influence.

During this period, the reinforcement of Europe from the United States of America through the transatlantic link in response to aggression from an adversary country has been practiced.

The manoeuvres were divided into four different consecutive phases, in which Spain participated by providing a Commander Task Group and up to 7 ships: the frigates "Cristóbal Colon', "Álvaro de Bazán", "Santa María", "Reina Sofía" and "Almirante Juan de Borbón", and the BACs "Patiño" and "Cantabria".

Additionally, a Marine Infantry Section embarked on the ITS "San Giorgio" and various augmentation personnel on the ITS "Garibaldi" also participated.

This is the first time that Norfolk's Joint Force Command (JFC) has conducted an exercise and is constituted as the 'Warfighting Joint Task Force Headquarters'. Its capabilities have been appropriately maximised to fulfil its designated tasks 24/7.

This exercise represents a before and after for Norfolk Headquarters, which will now implement all the lessons learned and mechanisms necessary to execute deterrence and defence plans for the north-west area.

The Norfolk Joint Force Command was created in 2018 as a small command designed for surveillance operations. However, the fast evolving strategic scenario, enhanced by the invasion of Ukraine, made it necessary to establish a new role for this Headquarters as it has to be equally capable as the rest of the Joint Force Commands.

There are currently 8 Spanish military personnel posted at JFC Norfolk, including Vice Admiral ‘Céspedes’, Chief of Defence of the Joint Force Command. For these manoeuvres, in which Vice Admiral ‘Céspedes’ and his team have lead the conduct of a demanding battle rhythm, the Spanish presence has been reinforced with the deployment of two augmentees.