SPAIN IS ACTIVE AND VALUABLE NATO ALLY – CHAIRMAN OF THE NATO MILITARY COMMITTEE
General Petr Pavel met with the Spanish Defence Minister, Mrs. María Dolores de Cospedal, the Chief of Defence, Admiral Fernando García Sánchez and other high level military officials during his visit to Madrid, Spain on 15-16 March 2017. The Chairman thanked them for Spain’s continued and active commitment to NATO. The Chairman stressed how much NATO valued Spain’s presence in NATO Operations, Missions and Activities and appreciated the professionalism and expertise of its soldiers.
Discussions with Mrs. María Dolores de Cospeda centered on NATO’s adaptation, current and future security challenges, defence spending and capabilities. “We face threats from many directions, and we do not have the luxury to choose among them. As the Alliance adapts, I am grateful for Spain’s continued support and strong commitment. Spain is a valuable Ally”, said the Chairman.
Taking a moment to pay his respects to those soldiers who have paid the ultimate price for peace and security, General Pavel, accompanied by Admiral Fernando García Sánchez, laid a wreath at the Monument to the Fallen of Spain.
While in Spain, General Pavel visited NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) located in Torrejon. The Chairman was greeted by the Command and staff, shown the Operations room and briefed by Maj Gen Ruben Carlos Garcia Servert, the CAOC Commander on the CAOC’s mission and activities.
The Chairman’s meeting with Admiral Fernando García Sánchez focused on Spain’s active involvement in NATO’s Operations, Missions and Activities. “Spain makes significant contributions to our shared security. Wherever NATO is present, Spain is right there. On the land, on the sea and in the air” said General Pavel.
Speaking to students at the Centro Superior de Estudios de la Defensa Nacional (CESEDEN), Spain’s National Defence Academy, General Pavel emphasised the need for cooperation and a holistic approach to current and future challenges. The Chairman stated “Our strength comes not from our military might. Our strength comes from our network of allies, partners, and like-minded friends”.