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Sede del EMAD


  1. The Joint Defence Staff (EMACON) is the JEMAD's auxiliary command body in the exercise of its powers and responsibilities. It will act as the main coordinator of the EMAD's general activities.
  2. It supports and advises the JEMAD in defining military strategy, military planning, force development and the strategic conduct of operations.
  3. It will lead Military Planning within the framework of Defence Planning, in coordination with the authorities of the Ministry of Defence, the Army and the Navy and the rest of the EMAD bodies.
  4. The Chief of the Joint Staff (JEMACON) will hold the position of Chief of Military Transformation and will have a support element for it.
  5. He will support the JEMAD in carrying out the necessary actions to ensure the operational effectiveness of the Armed Forces.
  6. It will identify, in coordination with the Armies and the Navy, the shortcomings of the Joint Force (CF) during its preparation and employment process and will analyse those that could lead to the need for conceptual development or the creation or updating of joint courses, or both needs at the same time.
CHIEF OF JOINT STAFF  LTG Fernando García González-Valerio

Name:   Fernando García González-Valerio.

Rank:   Lieutenant General (Army).

Position: Chief of Joint Staff.

Joint Staff Organization

The Joint Staff (EMACON) is made up of:

  1. Headquarters.
  2. Private Secretariat.
  3. General Secretariat of the Joint Defence Staff (SEGEMACON).
  4. Plans Division (DIVPLA).Strategy Division (DIVESTRA).
  5. Force Development Division (DIVDEF).Joint Chief of Health (JECOSAN).
  6. National Cell against Improvised Explosive Devices (CENCIED).
  7. Verification Unit (UVE).
  8. Information and Knowledge Management Section (SGIC).
  9. EMAD Headquarters Security and Services Headquarters (JESES- CGEMAD).

To support its tasks, the Headquarters may have a Studies Unit.

  1. It will be the body responsible for directly supporting and assisting the JEMACON in the management of EMACON, as well as providing technical and administrative support to the CGEMAD bodies for the coordination of their activities, with the support of the various secretariats and technical secretariats. It will provide advice and support on matters for which EMACON is responsible but which are not specific to its constituent bodies.
  2. It shall assist JEMACON in the coordination of EMAD's general activities.
  3. It shall support all EMAD bodies in matters relating to graphic design and specialised reprographics.
  4. It will coordinate and process with the units involved the normative production in the field of EMAD.
  5. It will act as EMAD's Transparency Unit.
  6. It will manage national and international classified information in the EMAD area, performing the functions of the General Service for the Protection of Classified Matters and the Services for the Protection of Classified Information of the OISD and the European Space Agency.
  7. It will manage the Personal Security Clearances of all staff in the EMAD area.
  8. Establish the EMAD Personal Data Protection Office. This office will report functionally to the Director of CIFAS as Chief Information Security Officer within the scope of EMAD and also functionally to the Data Protection Delegate of the Ministry of Defence.
  9. It will constitute the Central Archive of EMAD. 

SEGEMACON is made up of the following bodies, which report to the Secretary General:

  • Coordination and Studies Office.
  • Administrative Support Office.
  • Normative Production Office.
  • Documentation Centre.
  • Drawing and Reprographic Office.
  • EMAD General Registry.


This unit is responsible for:

  • Assisting JEMACON in its managerial responsibilities, in particular by assisting in the coordination of the activities of the Divisions that report to it.
  • Preparing the proposal to JEMACON for the monthly distribution of the Special Dedication Complement (CDE) of the EMAD units and, when appropriate, of other extraordinary bonuses.
  • Technical-administrative support and supervision of general support.
  • Acting as EMAD's Transparency Processing Unit.


This is the unit responsible for:

  • Providing administrative support to EMACON, especially by controlling documentation.
  • Acting as the NATO/EU Control Point for SEGEMACON and for those CGEMAD bodies that do not have such a point.


This is the unit responsible for:

  • Coordinating reports on regulatory projects required by other authorities.
  • The drafting and organic regulation of the normative production originating in EMAD.
  • Commissioning those studies and reports deemed appropriate to other EMAD units when the matter falls within the specific tasks attributed by ORDEF 166/2015 to said unit.


This unit is responsible for:

  • Supporting all EMAD bodies with regard to graphic design and specialised reprography.


This is the unit responsible for:

  • Registration and archiving activities at a general level.
  • The management within EMAD of national classified information, information from international organisations, mainly NATO/EU, and from other countries under agreements for the protection of classified information.
  • Carrying out the activities corresponding to EMACON as the body responsible for coordinating and controlling the NATO operational standardisation process, in coordination with the management bodies reporting to it.
  • The management of personal security clearances.


This is the unit responsible for:

  • Documentary management in the EMAD in accordance with the provisions of Order 124/1995, which regulates the General Registers existing in the Ministry of Defence.
  1. He is responsible for the overall coordination of Force and Capabilities Planning, leading the drafting of the Military Planning Directive. He will draw up and coordinate Force Planning and its integration into Defence Planning.
  2. He will also monitor it through annual reports and will coordinate the establishment of the SAF's needs in the medium and short term, as well as the long-term force objective. He will also be responsible for coordinating and drawing up the Readiness Report.
  3. He will lead activities related to Capability Planning and its integration into Defence Planning and provide advice on the whole spectrum of military capabilities. To this end, it will act as the main interlocutor with other bodies which, by virtue of their specialisation, can support and collaborate in planning.
  4. It will promote the processes of transforming the military capabilities of the Armed Forces. To this end, it will coordinate, in particular with the DIVDEF, the military innovation and transformation initiatives adopted in the joint sphere, the detailed definition of the military capabilities identified in the force planning process, as well as the implementation of new joint concepts. It will also take into account the initiatives in the field of innovation, transformation and evaluation of emerging and disruptive technologies that are developed in the Secretariat of State for Defence (Directorate General for Armaments and Material and the Centre for Information and Communications Systems and Technologies, CESTIC).
  5. It will coordinate national participation in the planning of military capabilities developed by the OISDs and in the multilateral framework, as well as the participation of the Armies, the Navy and competent EMAD bodies in international cooperation initiatives related to capability planning. He will represent the JEMAD before these organisations with regard to his duties as the national authority for military planning.
  6. It will also be responsible for preparing and coordinating the SAF's position before the OISD and multinational forums in the logistical and financial fields, in coordination with the Directorate General for Economic Affairs, in which the JEMAD is competent.
  7. It will carry out the tasks related to the procurement process of material resources in which the JEMAD is competent and those in which it is involved, monitoring and evaluating the general planning of procurement and the processes of withdrawal of material resources related to military capabilities. It will also contribute to and coordinate the process of obtaining military capabilities within the framework of the OISD.
  8. In coordination with the MOPS and the JAE, it will quantify the financial resources intended to cover the SAF's participation in peace and humanitarian aid operations allocated to the EMAD and in such other operations as may be determined, as well as the planning of such other financial resources as may be decided.
  9. Directing and coordinating the Operational Management of the NATO Security Investment Programme (NSIP).
  10. Coordinate the technical and operational aspects of the use by the SAF of fuels, lubricants and associated products.
  11. It will lead the planning of Host Nation Support (HNS) activities within the National Territory for the development of military operations and joint-combined preparedness activities. It will also promote the establishment of HNS-related agreements or memoranda to facilitate the sustainment of forces deployed outside National Territory for the conduct of military readiness activities or operations.
  12. Within the EMAD, it will be responsible for infrastructure planning, centralising and proposing the prioritisation of investment needs. It will also plan and coordinate environmental management and energy efficiency in EMAD facilities.
  13. It will carry out studies and proposals for the organisation of the structures dependent on the JEMAD, for the homogenisation of the organisation of the Armed Forces, as well as the unification of the services whose tasks should not be exclusive to one army or the Navy, and those others that favour joint organisations and avoid duplication. He will lead the regulatory production procedures associated with the organisation of the EMAD. 
  14. He will check that the functions and tasks of the Internal Organisation Books are coherent among all the EMAD units and with the regulations in force, prior to their approval and modification.

The head of DIVPLA is MG. José Antonio Herrera LLamas (Air Force).

DIVPLA is composed of:

  • Technical Secretariat.
  • Force Plans Section. (SEPLAFU).
  • Resources Plans Section. (SEPLARE).
  • Organization Section. (SECORG).


Responsible for:

  • Being integrated into the process of “Defence planning”, as stated in the pertinent Ministerial Order.
  • Coordinating, developing and monitoring force planning in order to establish FAS Military Capabilities, as well as designing the Force´s Objectives in the long term.
  • Cooperating in design and development of the Military Planning Guidelines.
  • Coordinating national participation into the capability planning developed by International Security and Defence Organizations (NATO and EU) and within a multilateral framework.
  • Obtaining a detailed definition of the joint capabilities identified in the process of force planning, through the specified directives.


Responsible for:

  • Coordinating the output process arising from the military capabilities approved within the Military Capabilities Objective (OCM in Spanish) and within its competence, according to MIRADO factors (material, infrastructure, human resources, training, doctrine and organization), by coordinating and validating its requirements and its subsequent control and monitoring.
  • Planning, coordinating and controlling the logistical aspects within its competence, related to the provision of resources and FAS joint capabilities together with the responsibilities of being “host nation”.
  • Participating in the different logistical committees included within its competence in the OISD at strategic and political-military level.
  • Planning, coordinating and controlling the estimation of financial requirements at FAS disposal, oriented to capability planning in accordance with MIRADO factors.
  • Planning the need of ordinary credits to be assigned to national seniors in international organizations and credits for Peacekeeping Operations (OMP in Spanish) in order to attend those CSI created within EMAD, except those from OMP controlled by MOPS, and providing guidelines for their management.
  • Contributing and coordinating, when required, the procurement of military capabilities within OISD.
  • Planning on infrastructures within EMAD
  • Coordinating the operational and technical aspects regarding FAS usage of fuels, lubricants and associated products.
  • Becoming part of the working body of the Boards of Weapons and Material and Lubricants and Fuels Programmes.
  • Coordinating, through its NSIP (NATO Security Investment Program) Section, the Capability Management Package (CP) NSIP, being also responsible, in coordination with all the bodies participating in the process, of the activities related to the CP processing within NATO.


Responsible for:

  • Conducting studies and proposals for the standardization of the Army, Navy, Air Force and EMAD organization in order to improve operational efficiency of the Armed Forces, and to unify all those services whose tasks are not exclusive of the Army, Navy, Air Force or EMAD.
  • Compiling the EMAD´s organization structure and supporting the Human Resources Section regarding workforce definition.
  • Encouraging, coordinating and controlling the regulations regarding organization, by activating the organic regulation process.
  • Supporting SEGEMACON in global planning coordination, in the proper functioning of the organization operating under JEMAD and in the coordination with the regulations developed within the Ministry.
  1. It will be responsible for drafting, developing and updating the military strategy and its derived plans. In this sense, it leads the process of drafting the Concept of Employment of the Armed Forces, the directives that regulate both the enlistment and employment of the Armed Forces and the framework of the national operational planning system.
  2. It will direct Operational Planning and its integration into Defence Planning, giving guidelines for the elaboration of operational plans.
  3. He will carry out the planning, conduct and monitoring of military operations at the strategic level by drawing up Strategic Military Assessments, Military Response Options, Strategic Plans and drafting Initial Military Directives.
  4. He will be responsible for matters arising from the JEMAD's participation in the National Security System, as well as facilitating and coordinating the integration of the Armed Forces into the aforementioned system, especially during crisis management.
  5. It will represent the Armed Forces, by delegation of the JEMAD, in the OISD, international forums and multinational structures of a military nature, in which the JEMAD has responsibilities. To this end, it will draw up and coordinate the SAF's position and commitments on all matters dealt with in its different military committees and will participate in the military planning processes at the strategic level that are carried out in them.
  6. It will plan and control, in coordination with the armies, the Navy and the competent bodies of the EMAD, the bilateral and multilateral military relations that are the responsibility of the JEMAD, as well as the activities derived from them.
  7. It will plan Spanish participation in units abroad under the JEMAD. To this end, it will propose and coordinate the lines of action relating to the participation of Spanish military personnel abroad dependent on the JEMAD in OISDs and multinational structures of a military nature, establishing criteria, priorities, entity and degree of coverage to be achieved.
  8. It will plan the national contribution to multinational operational structures (force generation process) within the framework of the OISD, the United Nations organisation and any international coalitions that may be established, coordinating with the Armies, the Navy and the MOPS.
  9. He will draw up the JEMAD's Military Intelligence Directive in close collaboration with the CIFAS.
  10. It will draw up and lead the JEMAD's guidelines for the coordination of the National Military representation before the OISDs, as well as coordinating the EMAD's contribution to the biennial programmes of the Defence Diplomacy Plan.
  11. In the context of strategic leadership, it will plan, control and supervise the development of a narrative aimed at achieving the appropriate strategic effects of all the activities, missions and operations of the Armed Forces, in permanent coordination with the Technical Cabinet of the JEMAD as the body responsible for Public Information.

The head of DIVESTRA is VA Saturnino Suanzes Fernández de Cañete.

DIVESTRA is composed of:

  • Technical Secretariat
  • Strategy and Strategic Plans Section (SEPLE).
  • International Relations Section (SERINT).
  • Strategic Management Section (SECON).


Responsible for:

  • Supporting JEMAD in its advisory role to the Minister, on issues concerning the present and future of the military strategy and resulting plans.
  • Considering the national and allied security framework, keeping updated the military strategy, and specially, establishing the strategic framework for military planning, together with its patterns of development and possible scenarios of action.
  • Assisting in tasks regarding crisis management, by supporting the political-military advice provided by JEMAD to the Minister of Defence and to the National Security Council.
  • Leading the production and development process of the Military Planning Guidelines and preparing the Armed Forces Employment Concept.
  • Keeping updated strategic analysis of the international security situation, identifying risks and threats, as well as possible strategic implications and changes of tendency, linking them with CIFAS and with the Spanish Institute for Strategic Studies of CESEDEN.
  • Preparing the military options presented to the Ministry of Defence (MINISDEF) by JEMAD, to be approved by the Government, by assisting the strategic planning and leading the operations. It is responsable for performing, among other actions, options for military responses and initial military guidelines to establish the operational planning framework, as well as taking part in strategic operation revision.
  • Planning and coordinating the national contribution to the multinational operational structures within the framework of International Security and Defence Organizations (OISD) through developing options for military responses and initial military guidelines.
  • Coordinating together with the National Military Representations before OISD, all those activities related with the previous duties, as well as keeping updated for the FAS the Catalogue of Rules of Engagement (ROEs).


Responsible for:

  • Advising about the directives, concepts, plans and other documents in process in the International Security and Defence organizations (OISD) in which JEMAD has responsibilities, including the international multinational or bilateral structures of military nature in which Spain takes part.
  • Preparing and coordinating the FAS´s position regarding the issues covered during NATO and EU military committees, and when determined, in other existing forums of the International Security and Defence Organizations, included within the scope of responsibility of JEMAD.
  • Leading the development of JEMAD Guidelines regarding FAS contribution to the Spain´s external action, as well as proposing and coordinating guidelines related to national contribution to the structures of those organizations, in particular, by establishing criteria, priorities and the participation of Spanish military personnel in the OISD.


The SECON will be responsible for the strategic anticipation, monitoring, execution and evaluation of the Strategic Plans and the strategic communication of the Armed Forces.

To this end, it will be responsible for the following tasks:

  • It will advise the JEMAD on alerts arising from both national and international warning systems, especially to improve planning and reaction capabilities.
  • It will contribute to the Joint Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (JISR) capability by promulgating the Commander's Critical Information Requirements (CCIR).
  • It will propose a structure, in the field of information, that allows to use, share and develop the knowledge not only of the SAF, but also of the Community associated to Security and Defense, and that facilitates the achievement of the strategic objectives through the dynamic advice on the activities of the SAF.
  • It will assist the JEMAD in its function of assisting the President of the Government and the head of the Ministry of Defense in the strategic direction of operations.
  • It will warn of deviations of any nature, in particular variations of a political, strategic or even social nature, which could lead to modifications of the strategic planning framework and therefore of the DIM.
  • Be aware of the different initiatives in the field of OISD in which the SAF participates, in order to identify measures to improve the efficiency of national resources. 
  • Provide advice to improve the coherence of military efforts with those of the rest of the State and with those of our OISD partners and allies.
  • It will carry out the strategic monitoring of strategic activities, assessing their needs, in a way that will allow warning of their future needs. In this sense, it will provide the necessary information to the EMAD units to facilitate the JEMAD's decision-making process.
  • By means of measurable indicators, it will monitor the degree of achievement of the Strategic Plans defined in the CEFAS.
  • With the support of the CIFAS, it will monitor the evolution of the intelligence areas and topics of interest included in the Military Intelligence Plan (PIM).
  • It will plan, control and supervise the development of a narrative oriented to achieve the timely strategic effects of all activities, missions and operations of the SAF, in permanent coordination with the GABTECJEMAD and with the MOPS, as responsible for Public Information.
  • It will plan Key Leader Engagement both nationally and internationally to facilitate the achievement of strategic objectives.

SECON will be under the command of a Colonel/Captain of the General or Marine Corps. In the absence of the incumbent, he/she will be succeeded in command by the most senior officer among the personnel assigned to that Section who meets the requirements for that position.

Force development process

The Force Development Division is the body responsible for integrating and synchronising the processes necessary to ensure that the military capabilities of the Armed Forces respond to the operational needs identified in each military planning cycle.

Its tasks are as follows:

  • Leading and coordinating the joint preparedness process.
  • Promote and coordinate the joint Lessons Learned and Best Practices process.
  • Contributing to the Joint Force's joint interoperability efforts, leading those identified.
  • Leading the foresight process aimed at defining the military strategic framework.
  • Promoting and directing the development and experimentation of new joint concepts that promote solutions to the deficiencies detected in the Joint Force's operational effectiveness.
  • Promote, lead and coordinate the study and development of joint doctrine, both national and combined.
  • Directing, coordinating and controlling NATO's operational standardisation process, which is the responsibility of the Chief of Defence Staff.

The Force Development Division is headed by Army Mg Pedro Torreño Suárez.

The Division is divided into:

  • Technical Secretariat.
  • Force Development Section.
  • Analysis and Foresight Section.
  • Concept Development and Experimentation Section.
  • Doctrine Section, which includes the Defence Staff Standardisation Office.

The Analysis and Foresight, Concept Development and Experimentation, and Doctrine sections constitute the Joint Concept Development Centre (JCDC).

The CCDC is the think tank responsible for carrying out the functions and tasks necessary to guide the continuous transformation of the Armed Forces, within the framework of Force Development, which is a cross-cutting process that integrates and synchronises the innovation, readiness and interoperability efforts necessary to ensure the operational effectiveness of the Joint Force.


  1. He is responsible for directing and coordinating aspects related to operational health within his area of responsibility.
  2. It will issue directives aimed at guiding the preparation and use of operational health capabilities derived from military planning, formulating proposals and establishing rules on their interoperability and standardisation.
  3. Within the framework of military operations, when so determined and at its level, the JECOSAN will constitute the basis of the core of health advice to the JEMAD, acting as the coordinating authority in the relations established with other health organisations. Furthermore, when so determined, it will collaborate in the establishment of agile plans and procedures for the reinforcement of health capabilities at the national level. 
  4. It will advise the JEMAD on the health aspects of Nuclear, Biological, Chemical and Radiological (NBQ-R) defence related to military operations.
  5. It will participate in the development and establishment of the standards for joint action in this field and will maintain the necessary relations of collaboration with the corresponding bodies of NATO countries, the EU and the OISD.

JECOSAN is made up:

  • Secretariat. (SEC-JECOSAN).
  • Plans Section. (SEPLA).
  • Analysis Section (SEAN).

The head of JECOSAN is Medical BG Alberto Hernández de Abadía de Barbará.

  1. It will promote and coordinate the development of the SAF's Counter Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) capability and the SAF's position vis-à-vis the OISD in this field. It will support, as required, the planning and conduct of military operations. It will constitute the national liaison of the Centre of Excellence against Improvised Explosive Devices (CoE C-IED) with the National Intelligence Centre (CNI) and with the State Security Forces and Corps (FCSE).
  2. It will support EMAD in Spain's responsibilities, as a framework nation of the C-IED CoE, arising from the agreements between the participating states and the agreements signed with the FCSE and the CNI.
  3. It will participate in the National C-IED Group and lead it by delegation of the JEMACON.
  4. It will coordinate with MOPS and CIFAS the collection, storage and processing of information related to IED networks. 

To fulfill its mission, CENCIED is: 

  • To cooperate, through the integration and exploitation of intelligence, to neutralize or at least minimize the threat of IED attacks
  • To support the transformation process of the Spanish Armed Forces and the Atlantic Alliance in the field of fighting IED's.
  • To support the research and development of the Spanish Armed Forces' capabilities in this issue by:
  • Promoting military education, instruction and support for national and multinational exercises
  • Improving the levels of interoperability in joint and combined environments.
  • Supporting the development of concepts, doctrine, procedures and standards.
  • Testing and validation of concepts through experimentation.
  • Contributing to the lessons learned process. 
  • To Support the standardisation processes of assets and equipment in the field of C-IED within NATO.

The head of CENCIED is Colonel Jesús Manuel de Diego de Somonte Galdeano.


The Spanish Verification Unit (UVE in Spanish) was created by Ministerial Order 73/91, of October the 8th, given the need to have a permanent and specialized military unit, arising from the ratification by Spain of various disarmament and arms control treaties and agreements.

According to Order DEF/710/2020, the UVE is the joint operational unit of the Defence Staff (EMAD in Spanish), reporting to the Chief of Joint Staff (JEMACON in Spanish), which 'has the responsibility to plan, coordinate, control and execute those activities entrusted to the Armed Forces, in conjunction with those carried out by other bodies of the State, arising from the international commitments acquired by Spain related to disarmament, arms control and the establishment of measures to promote confidence and security, as well as for verifying compliance by other States’.

  1. It will be responsible for planning, coordinating, controlling and executing the activities corresponding to the SAF, in conjunction with those carried out by other government bodies, arising from Spain's assumption of various international commitments related to disarmament, arms control and the establishment of confidence- and security-building measures, as well as the verification of compliance by other States.
  2. It will carry out inspections, evaluations, observation flights or other verification activities in other States, coordinating in the appropriate fora with allied countries and with the countries of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
  3. It carries out escorts for foreign teams during the verification activities of other States in Spain, coordinating with the corresponding units and administrative bodies.
  4. It will gather the necessary information from the armies and navy to draw up the exchanges of information on the corresponding treaties and agreements and propose them for dissemination.
  5. It will maintain an alert system, in coordination with the organisations involved in the verification system, to enable a rapid reaction to notifications of verification activities received in Spain.


UVE requires well-trained personnel in order to successfully conduct missions with a very short activation process and specialised training. For this purpose, the following capabilities are needed:

  • Fluent communication in English and Russian (including aeronautic Russian), key tools within the Verification field.
  • Creating and analysing military information exchanges.
  • Knowledge on Arms Control Treaties and Agreements.
  • Recognising and identifying military materials and units.
  • Planning and conducting aerial photographic missions.
  • Knowledge on small and light weapons and conventional ammunitions.
  • Leading/integrating into multinational teams.
  • Negotiation skills capacity within the multinational and operational field.
  • Other technical capacities (photosetting, photography, GPS´s use, etc.).
  • High degree of Operational Readiness: passports, vacuums, medical examinations, physical aptitude tests, etc. 

The main training of the personnel is carried out in the Unit itself and in the NATO School in Oberammergau (Germany). The unit collaborates with the NATO School by providing teachers, being a real challenge that makes UVE proud, as it requires a perfect command of technical English and expertise in the subject to be taught, since it is necessary to give classes to students with a high level of previous knowledge.

Instruction and Training of UVE personnel is complemented with other activities such as exercises and bilateral instruction flights with allied countries, cooperation with other FAS Units for First-Aid courses, training flights in helicopters, visits to Units to prepare them for inspections, and other internal activities including language courses, material recognition courses, shooting, parades, etc.


As a result of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), and after development of such negotiation in Vienna, from March 1989, the General Directorate of Defence Policies (DIGENPOL in Spanish) had the necessity of establishing an organic structure able to meet the obligations deriving both from the CFE treaty and the Stockholm Document. For that purpose, a two-level structure is conceived: one of management level, conducted by DIGENPOL and another one executive, under the Joint Defence Staff (EMACON in Spanish) and the Army Headquarters.

In March 1990, by Order from the Ministry of Defence, a work group was created which proposed a first design of organization of a verification system, assigned tasks to DIGENPOL, Defence Staff (EMAD in Spanish), Army, Navy and Air Force Headquarters, and created a Verification Cell within each of them. From this group, the proposal of an inspection/escort unit arose, thus considered the UVE´s germ. At the same time, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, following a letter sent by the Minister of Defence communicating the organization´s status regarding Defence verification and the necessity to coordinate this matter between both Ministries, expressed its intent to create a Sub-Directorate for Disarmament Affairs.


Following approval of the creation of an inspection/escort unit, and once an initial verification system was established through the allocation of responsibilities, operational lines were defined, being in some cases characteristic features of the UVE´s modus operandi. Among them, we can highlight performance in accordance with regulated procedures, which are agreed in advance by participating bodies, and decentralization in the execution by each team, both at the inspection and escort levels.

The need for having a communication system was considered to be of great importance, conceiving the possibility of multiple uses: information exchange, data processing, notifications, etc. Also, given the short time period established for processing the different procedures, it was also considered the need for establishing a permanent alert system which would be able to respond within three hours to a notification made by another country expressing the intention to conduct an inspection in Spain within the following 36 hours.

In September 1990, for the development of verification standards, guidelines were established assigning tasks to UVE, and mentioning it as a recently-created unit. However, this fact did not occur until a year later, even though on 20th September 1990 (BOD 190), General Víctor Suanzes Pardo was appointed Chief of the Verification Unit. From that moment, all the competences related to elaboration and maintenance of information fell under the competence of the EMACON Verification Cell.

Annexed to the aforementioned guidelines, the proposal also establishes a division of Spain into inspection districts with two entry/exit points, the limits for deciding the kind of transport to be used by the escort team and the support given to flights conducted over those identified places with Army helicopters. This resulted in a first draft of a general operational standard.

  "Fiat lux"

As a result of this preparatory activity emerged the Organizational Structure 90/02, which today is still the most important basic document, since it is signed by the Chief of Defence Staff (JEMAD) and countersigned by the Ministry of Defence. It regulates tasks endorsed by the Ministry of Defence organisms in relation to the active and passive inspections, together with one important aspect that is the establishment of the UVE internal structure under the command of a General; in addition, the EMACON´s responsibility for maintenance of a database is also established. Shortly thereafter, in January 1991, the General Instruction 02/91, regulating internal procedures for development of information exchange in the Kingdom of Spain, was signed. 

But certainly, the most significant event during 1992, given the commitment of the Eastern European countries to ratify the CFE Treaty, was the UVE´s creation by Ministerial Order 73/91 of 8 October 1991.

July 1992 saw an event that would definitely foster the development of the Unit: the decision taken by the States signing the CFE of its provisional entry into force. Despite all the preparations, this fact took by surprise the unit, since they had an insufficient number of troops to cope with the workload expected at that time; for that reason, personnel were seconded in September, being definitely assigned in December.


From then on, the unit found itself into an intense activity, since in December 1992 it was also in charge of those verification activities of the Vienna Document in which the unit had previous experience, taking into account that in October 1991 the first activity regarding the application of this document was conducted: evaluation of the Cavalry Brigade Castillejos No.2 in Zaragoza by a team from the URSS. Regarding CFE, it was needed, before proceeding during the following three years to the reduction to the agreed limits, to validate data on the existence of armament limited by the Treaty; said period was known as “base validation period”.

During the CFE period, known as “reduction period”, a great effort was made, since a quantity of armament higher than the one destroyed during the Second World War, was rendered useless.

The unit´s internal organization was also adapted to this new situation. The inspection team lost its permanent role regarding its composition and evolved into a more pragmatic and at the same time efficient mode of action, from a functional point of view. The rotation of inspectors in multiple tasks, according to their mission, enables full knowledge of the different consequences of executing a verification mission.

The end of the reduction period, in 1995, gave way to an intense activity phase of application of the CFE Treaty. Within four months, as many inspections as those that may be conducted during an annual cycle, were realised. The protagonists of the “residual level validation period”, as this phase was called, will remember it as a permanent state of availability to pack and unpack personal luggage.

Diversification of activities

Following the new integration of the Verification Cell into UVE, returning to EMACON from 1992, the unit commitment to the function of advising the command regarding arm control increased.

The situation reached after the signing of the Dayton Agreement in the Balkans, giving rise to a verification regime partially inspired by CFE and the Vienna Document, offered UVE the possibility of taking part as an assistant of the teams composed by the parties involved in a conflict.

The entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention, signed in Paris in January 1993 and ratified by Spain in August 1994, led to the creation of the National Authority for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (ANPAQ in Spanish), by Royal Decree of 12 May 1997, being a collegiate body chaired by the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs, a General Secretariat included into the Minister of Industry and Energy, and a Working Group. In this way, a new body is created, competent in verification issues, as well as an inspection regime, created by experts from the international Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), and with the participation of UVE as a support body, due to its experience in verification, since the unit had already performed an exercise related with this activity at the Naval Base of Algameca (Cartagena).

A fact of great impact on the UVE´s financial side was that, from 1998, military aircraft was replaced by commercial airlines for the movement of inspection teams. This was a practice already applied by other CFE members for some time. This fact did not mean in any way the end of the valuable contribution to the verification activities given by the Spanish Air Force. Soon afterwards, the air observation system for the Treaty on Open Skies, known as “sensor´s pod” was delivered to the allied group participating in the consortium formed in 1994 through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Spain made an important contribution to the system equipment by providing four aerial cameras, with a cost of 22 million pesetas (132,500€).

After executing compatibility tests with the aircraft “Hércules”, which had previously undergone a modernisation process in avionics and self-protection systems, the first operational activities were carried out with this aircraft, preceded by flights for data collection in order to determine the minimum height required for the sensors.

On 1st January 2002, the Treaty on Open Skies came into force, and since then, both active and passive observation flights are conducted.

Organic and functional restructuring

In January 1998 and by application of JEMAD Organizational Instruction 1/98 on “organization of EMAD Headquarters”, UVE became dependent on the Strategic Plans Division (DIVESPLA). In June 1999, UVE moved from its section into the Defence Staff to its current location at the Defence Group of Schools in Madrid.

Since July 2020, after legal changes on the HQ's structure, UVE became dependant on the Joint Chief of Staff.

UVE is in charge of conducting verification and assessment activities, maintaining functional relation with the following bodies:

  • General Directorate of Defence Policies (DIGENPOL in Spanish) from the Ministry of Defence.
  • General Directorate of Foreign Policy and Multilateral, Global and Security Affairs, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Strategic Plans Division (DIVESPLA) from the Joint Staff.
  • Verification Cells from the Spanish Army, Navy and Air Force.

The head of the UVE is Colonel Carlos Javier Armada Vázquez

  1. It will have the mission to identify and keep up to date the main functional and operational processes of EMAD and their associated information products, planning and developing the most appropriate Information and Knowledge Management structure in the field of EMAD and its implementation, as part of the digital transformation. It will also propose coordination measures for the core processes defined by the JEMAD to link up with the specific processes.
  2. It will coordinate those responsible for the processes and information products of the EMAD, as well as the relationship with the originators, owners, custodians and users of the information. 
  3. The SGIC will act as the EMAD's Process Control Office, coordinating and acting under the guidelines and functional dependence of the Ministry of Defence's Central Process Control Office.
  4. It will have a data management office in charge of establishing and supervising the plans and procedures for data management and governance, which will report functionally to the Chief Data Officer of the Ministry of Defence (Chief Data Officer -CDO- MDEF).

The head of SGIC is Navy Captain  Julio Hernández García.

  1. The Head of Security and Services of the General Headquarters of the Defence Staff (JESES-CGEMAD) will be the unit responsible for the maintenance of the CGEMAD facilities and those units dependent on the JEMAD that are determined.
  2. It will organise and direct the security of CGEMAD personnel and facilities.
  3. It will carry out the CGEMAD's environmental, energy efficiency and occupational risk prevention activities.
  4. It will provide transport and mail support to the EMAD units.
  5. It will define, design and supervise works in the establishments and installations of EMAD units, at the request of those in charge of them.
  6. It will advise and provide support in matters of preventive, assistance and expert medicine to CGEMAD staff and units.
  7. The Civil Guard Section (UGC-JESCG) will have a functional dependency on this Headquarters and will support the Armed Forces Religious Assistance Service (SEAREL) assigned to the CGEMAD.
  8. The JEMACON will exercise the functions of Head of the CGEMAD Establishment.

The head of JESES-CGEMAD is Colonel Jose Antonio Corbacho de Castro.