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Sede del EMAD

Operations Command (MOPS)

MOPS Crest
  1. The Operations Command (MOPS) will be the body responsible at its level for the operational planning, conduct and monitoring of military operations, both national and multinational operations with Spanish participation, when Spain takes the lead. It will also be responsible for directing the sustainment of non-permanent military operations.
  2. It will advise the JEMAD on the planning and strategic conduct of operations.
  3. It will advise the JEMAD, from the operational point of view, on the participation of Spanish forces in operations and will monitor their performance and use by the multinational operational chain. Likewise, it will advise, from the operational point of view, on the participation of Spanish forces in joint-combined exercises that are not of national responsibility.
  4. It will plan and conduct those exercises that are determined and draw up guidelines for the training and readiness of the commands and forces assigned to the operational structure, supervising their preparation and assessing their operational readiness, thus contributing to ensuring their operational effectiveness.
  5. The MOPS Commander (CMOPS) will exercise command of the forces placed under his authority as set out in the plans in force and will propose to enlist and activate the Multinational Joint Headquarters (ES-OHQ) when it is designated to lead an EU or other OISD operation.
  6. It will coordinate the meteorological support needs of the Armed Forces, including those arising from Spain's integration into the OISD. To this end, it shall comply with the agreement between the Ministry of Defence and the State Meteorological Agency for the provision of meteorological support to the Armed Forces, published by resolution of 2 January 2020 of the Undersecretariat, or its subsequent updates.
  7. Together with the EMACON and the JAE, it will coordinate the administration of the resources intended to finance the participation of the Armed Forces in peace and humanitarian aid operations assigned to the EMAD and in such other operations as may be determined.
  8. It will identify and report on the supervening needs that may arise throughout the defence planning cycle, within the scope of ongoing operations, and which are linked to the security of the Force and its effectiveness.
  9. The MOPS is organised into Command, Second Command, Operations Command Staff (EMMOPS), Joint Special Operations Command (MCOE), Multinational Joint Headquarters Core (ES-OHQ), and Retamares Security and Services Headquarters (JES-RETAMARES).
  10. To support CMOPS tasks, the Command will have a Secretariat (SEC-MOPS) and a Studies Unit (UE-MOPS).
  11. The liaison officers to be accredited to the CMOPS will be attached to the MOPS and will collaborate in operational representation and information exchange tasks, in accordance with terms to be established.
  12. The CMOPS shall exercise the functions of the Head of Base Retamares.

Operations Command Crest

Heraldic description: “Blue, three high silver swords. In a seven-link gold chain belt, those chains occupying paired positions are crossed by the swords. Silver border with six nails of the same metal and, on the barrier, the slogan “CUSTODIAE PACIS”.

The three linked swords by a chain represent the three branches of the Spanish Armed Forces (Army, Navy and the Air Force). These three swords are the same size, category, and significance. The motto “Custodiae Pacis” means “(we are) the peacekeepers”.

Commander of the Operations Command – LTG Francisco Braco Carbó

Name:   Francisco Braco Carbó.

Rank:   Lieutenant General (Air Force).

Position: Commander of the Operations Command.

MOPS´ chart

The Operations Command (MOPS in Spanish) is structured as follows:

  • Commander.
  • Deputy Commander.
  • Operations Command Staff (EMMOPS in Spanish).
  • Joint Special Operations Command (MCOE in Spanish).
  • The core of the Multinational Joint Headquarters (ES-OHQ).
  • Head of Security and Services (JESES-RETAMARES).



The Operations Command Staff (EMMOPS), the main CMOPS auxiliary command body, is the body responsible for the overall planning, coordination and control of activities related to the planning, monitoring and conduct of operations and exercises mandated to it at the operational level.

EMMOPS is structured into: Headquarters;

  • Technical Secretariat (SETEC-EMMOPS).
  • Operations Area (AOPS)
  • Support Area (AAPO).


This is the body responsible for:

  • Assisting the JEMMOPS in the direction and coordination of the activities of the technical administrative support to the EMMOPS.
  • Constitute the NATO/EU control point, as well as a Local Classified Material Protection Service for national documentation.
  • It will be responsible for information and knowledge management in EMMOPS.
  • It advises and supports on matters which, being the responsibility of EMMOPS, are not specific to any other section of EMMOPS.


  1. Direct and coordinate intelligence at the operational level, manage information requirements and coordinate intelligence collection at the operational level. It develops counter-intelligence and security aspects affecting operations and joint exercises.
  2. It participates in the process of updating the Rules of Engagement (ROE) Catalogue and requests the collection of ROE it deems necessary for each operation.
  3. Plan and conduct joint exercises necessary to ensure the operational effectiveness of assigned Army and Navy forces and for the evaluation of operational plans.
  4. It manages LAMPs related to joint operations and exercises.
  5. It will lead the targeting process at the operational level, for which it will have a Joint Targeting Centre as the main CMOPS tool for directing this process.
  6. It will lead the planning, conduct and coordination of procedures and protocols in C-IED warfare, Force Protection in military operations and Electromagnetic Operations, for which it will have an Electromagnetic Operations Centre. It will determine the needs related to electromagnetic operations at the operational level, coordinating with the agencies responsible for their management and generation for joint operations and exercises.
  7. The Operations Area (AOPE) is structured into a Technical Secretariat and the J2 (Intelligence), J3 (Operations), J5 (Plans), J7 (Exercises and Evaluation) and J9 (Influence) sections.


  1. It will plan, direct, coordinate and manage the means necessary for the deployment, sustainment, withdrawal and support of the forces assigned to the operational structure of the SAF.
  2. In coordination with the armies and the navy, it will manage and monitor the personnel deployed in operations under the CMOPS, also advising it on discipline and rewards.
  3. It will propose the establishment of the necessary agreements or memorandums at the international level to support joint-combined operations and exercises, in particular those relating to the support to be provided to Spanish forces by other nations or organisations to guarantee or facilitate their support.
  4. It will determine the needs of the Information and Telecommunications Systems (CIS) within the scope of its competences and will coordinate with the organisations responsible for the management of Information and Communications Systems and Technologies the maintenance of the means, all of this referring to those used in joint operations and exercises.
  5. It is responsible for advising, planning and assisting in health matters in joint and joint-combined operations and exercises and for directing strategic medical evacuations.
  6. It will exercise financial control over the support received and provided by other allied countries and the OISDs entrusted to it as a result of Spain's participation in military operations.
  7. The Support Area is structured into a Technical Secretariat and the sections of J1 (Personnel and Administration), J4 (Logistics), J6 (CIS), J8 (Financial Resources) and JMED (Health).
  1. The Joint Special Operations Command (MCOE) will be responsible for planning, conducting and monitoring special operations.
  2. It will advise the JEMAD and the CMOPS on all matters relating to special operations.
  3. It will facilitate the integration and interoperability of special operations capabilities. To this end, it will make proposals on technical, operational and interoperability aspects of the special operations units belonging to the SAF's organisational structure which may be transferred to the operational structure.
  4. It will plan and conduct the joint exercises necessary to ensure the operational effectiveness of the special operations units assigned to it.
  5. When so determined by the JEMAD, it will activate the Headquarters of a Special Operations Component Command with the capacity to meet national needs and international commitments in accordance with the military doctrine in force.
  6. The Commander of the MCOE (CMCOE) will exercise command of the forces placed at his disposal and representation before the OISD in the field of special operations.

The MCOE will be structured as follows:

  • Command.
  • Staff of the Joint Special Operations Command (EMMCOE).
  1. The Multinational Joint Headquarters Core (ES-OHQ) shall be responsible for facilitating the process of rapid and flexible activation of the Multinational Joint Headquarters offered to the European Union or other international organisations.
  2. In addition, the ES-OHQ Core shall be responsible for ensuring its normal operation and maintenance in terms of facilities, procedures and means of Information Systems and Telecommunications.
  3. In the event of its activation to conduct an operation, the personnel of the ES-OHQ Core will be integrated in the HQ under the command of the Operation Commander.


  1. The Retamares Security and Services Headquarters (JESES-RETAMARES) will be the body responsible for maintaining the facilities of the Retamares Base, providing life and operational support to the base and to those units dependent on the JEMAD that are determined and to its components. He is accountable to the CMOPS in the exercise of his functions, as Head of the Retamares Base.
  2. He will organise and direct the security required by the personnel assigned to the Retamares Base and its dependencies. He will carry out environmental, energy efficiency and occupational risk prevention activities at the Retamares Base.
  3. It will provide support in the areas of preventive, assistance and expert medical care. Support the Armed Forces Religious Assistance Service (SEAREL) assigned to the Retamares Base.
  4. It will provide information and support to all military personnel at Retamares Base in matters of interest to them, both professional and personal.
  5. It will support the EMAD units at the Retamares Base in terms of transport and stationing.
  6. He will carry out the definition, project and supervision of works in the establishments and installations of the EMAD units at the Retamares Base.
  7. The Civil Guard Company (UGC-JESRET) deployed at the Retamares Base will have a functional dependency on the JESESES-RETAMARES.
  8. The JESES-RETAMARES will be functionally related to the JESESES-CGEMAD within the scope of its functions and tasks.

The first regulatory reference to the Operations Command (MOPS) is registered in the Strategic Defence Review of February 2003. In this paper, not only is established the need for creating the MOPS in its Basic Criterion 5, but it is also stipulated that “the Chief of the Operations Command will exercise, under the Chief of the Defence Staff, management of the ground, naval and air forces needed for fulfilling of all the operational missions in time of peace, crisis or war. The present Command will conduct the pertinent exercises for joint and combined training, as well as evaluating the operational plans in force. It will also have a Joint Staff of operational nature”.

According to Spanish Royal Decree 1551/2004 of 25th June, which develops the basic organizational structure of the Ministry of Defence, the Armed Forces are organised into two different structures: an operational one, to be used in the assigned missions, and an organic one, for force preparation. The operational structure is then constituted by the Defence Staff, composed in turn by MOPS and the Joint Staff.

After issuing the Order of Ministry of Defence 1076/2005 of 19th April, by which the structure of the Defence Staff is developed, together with the subsequent approval of the corresponding personnel, the implementation of the new operational structure is initiated, as established by Royal Decree 1551/2004.

In the middle  of year 2005, Operations Command's Staff  was activated, being appointed as first Chief of Staff  Major General Andrés Navas Ráez, Major (Air Force).

On January the 27th, 2006, the duty of first Commander of the Operations Command (CMOPS) was assigned to Lieutenant General of the Army, Mr. Bernardo Álvarez del Manzano Albiñana. He held this position until February 2008.

Former Commanders of the Operations Command

  • Lieutenant General of the Army, Bernardo Álvarez del Manzano Albiñana, from January 2006 to February 2008.
  • Lieutenant General of the Air Force, Andrés Navas Ráez, from February 2008 to September 2009.
  • Lieutenant General of the Army, Jaime Domínguez Buj, from September 2009 to July 2012.
  • Admiral Teodoro Esteban López Calderón, from July 2012 to April 2017.
  • Lieutenant General of the Army, Fernando José López del Pozo,  from April 2017 to September 2020.
  • Lieutenant General of the Air Force, Francisco Braco Carbó, since September 2020.