The supreme allied commander celebrates before the king the "crucial" role of Spain in NATO

The Spanish armed forces play a "crucial" role in the Atlantic Alliance, the Commander of the Supreme Allied Command in Europe, General Christopher Cavoli, highlighted today during the visit of King Felipe VI to the headquarters of the military organization in Mons (Belgium).

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
19 February 2024 Monday 21:34
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The supreme allied commander celebrates before the king the "crucial" role of Spain in NATO

The Spanish armed forces play a "crucial" role in the Atlantic Alliance, the Commander of the Supreme Allied Command in Europe, General Christopher Cavoli, highlighted today during the visit of King Felipe VI to the headquarters of the military organization in Mons (Belgium). ). "We thank Spain for its contributions as a crucial member of our Alliance since 1982. Its impact on area operations continues today, with command of the NATO mission in Iraq, as we move towards a future of collective defense in which "your leadership continues to be felt" on land and sea, highlighted the saceur, as Cavoli's position is known in the jargon of the military organization.

General Cavoli, an American national, spoke these words in his speech of thanks for the delivery of the Grand Cross of Naval Merit with a white badge with which Spain has distinguished his service, a decoration that has been imposed on him by the head of State . "Understand that I accept it on behalf of the men and women of NATO Supreme Headquarters. Nothing happens with my hands but with yours and I share this honor with you," highlighted the Commander of the Supreme Allied Command in Europe.

"My respect for the Spanish armed forces knows no limits. And it is not fulfilled," said Cavoli before remembering his experience, as a young officer, with the Chinchilla Parachute Brigade, and later when he was deployed in northern Iraq. "From the beginning of my career to the end, which is now approaching, I have had the fortune of working with the Armed Forces," the general concluded in a brief speech punctuated by words in Spanish and which concluded by thanking the king for his visit. Felipe VI to Mons.

The Spanish head of state, who has traveled accompanied by the Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles, as well as by the Chief of the Defense Staff (JEMAD), Admiral General Teodoro López Calderón and staff of the Royal Family, has had the opportunity to meet this morning with Cavoli and the leadership of the allied military headquarters to review issues such as the new allied territorial defense plans and the strategy for the southern neighborhood, allied sources have explained. The situation in the Sahel is, along with the war in Ukraine, one of the ingredients of the complex global geopolitical panorama in which General Cavoli has worked since he assumed his duties as saceur in July 2022, as highlighted by Admiral General Teodoro López Calderón at the presentation of the prestigious military decoration.

“His mandate faces challenges and threats that have not been seen in more than 30 years, and with his leadership and determination he has managed to preserve peace and security in the Atlantic area. Without a doubt, his experience in the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan and his time as commander of the United States Army in Europe and Africa has given him the expertise and knowledge to face this complex scenario in which we advance decisively with the support and involvement of all allies”, highlighted the JEMAD.

“In the case of Spain, I can guarantee you that the commitment to the Alliance has been and continues to be full, as reflected in our contribution to the deterrence and defense effort,” with thousands of Spanish soldiers under its command, he concluded. After the event, King Felipe and the rest of the authorities, accompanied by the ambassador to NATO, Federico Torres Muro, and the new head of the King's Household, Camilo Villarino, participated in an informal meeting with Spanish personnel at the barracks. allied general. The visit to the NATO facilities was the first public act of Villarino - former chief of staff of Josep Borrell as high representative of EU Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, and as minister, a role he also held with Arancha González - since his official appointment this Monday, when he replaced Jaime Alfonsín, who had been serving the king for almost three decades.