Spain has a military presence in different countries. / sur

Spanish aircraft, ships, tanks and 800 soldiers face up to the Russian challenge

Spain’s contribution to the collective security of NATO in northern and eastern Europe has been stable since 2015 as a mid-sized partner

MATEO BALÍN Madrid

As a ‘reliable partner’ of NATO, Spain provides stable military support wherever the organisation determines that its geo-strategic interests lie. The country’s contribution as a mid-sized partner goes hand-in-hand with its expenditure on defence, and successive Spanish governments, to a greater or lesser extent, have responded to the demands of the Alliance since tensions began to escalate between Russia and Ukraine.

From the point of view of national security, Spain looks to the southern Mediterranean flank, the frontiers with Africa and the challenge of immigration, but is aware of the common need to contribute to collective security in the north and east of the continent in the face of the challenge presented by Russia’s military expansionism.

With the NATO summit due to take place in Madrid in June, the most important event for the Spanish government this year, the presence of uniformed personnel in areas close to the Russian border has increased in just a few weeks from 350 troops to around 800, including modern warships and combat aircraft. This may increase to more than 900 from all sections of the Armed Forces, which would be the largest number currently abroad under the umbrella of the Atlantic Alliance.

Spain’s Armed Forces have been participating in the collective defence of NATO since the beginning of the 21s century, particularly in the Baltic area, where since 2015 it has deployed aircraft each year to protect the air space as part of the Baltic Air Police. Last year they spent three months in Lithuania and are expected to return with another contingent to Lithuania or Estonia in the spring.

On the ground, the Spanish army is part of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence in Latvia, where it provides 350 troops and around 80 armoured vehicles including Pizarro and Leopard tanks. This unit is integrated into one of the four multinational battalions, which total 5,000 troops.

This is the most well-known presence of Spanish military in operations to dissuade Russia, but the situation in Ukraine has revitalised other missions in which the Navy has participated for years: NATO’s Permanent Naval Groupings.

Operaciones españolas en el exterior junto

a la OTAN

Estonia

RUSIA

Letonia

Lituania

UCRANIA

Rumanía

Mar Negro

Bulgaria

Turquía

LITUANIA y ESTONIA

Policía Aérea

del Báltico BAP. Primavera 2022

150

Militares

7

Eurofighters

LETONIA

Presencia Reforzada Avanzada EFP

350

Militares

 

Carros de Combate de Infantería

 

Transporte Oruga Acorazado y Vehículos de Combate de Zapadores

 

Morteros Pesados y Misiles Contra Carro

 

Controlador de Ataque Terminal Conjunto y Aeronave no tripulada

RUMANÍA y BULGARIA

Policía Aérea del Mar Negro.

Febrero 2022

130

Militares

6

Eurofighters

TURQUÍA

Apoyo a Turquía

149

Militares

Artillería antiaérea

TURQUÍA

Apoyo a Turquía

149

Militares

Artillería antiaérea

Agrupación Naval Permanente

Cazaminas ‘Sella’.

41 Tripulación

 

Buque ‘Meteoro’

88 Tripulación

 

Fragata ‘Blas de Lezo’

202 Tripulación

Fuente: emad.defensa.gob.es

R.C.

Operaciones españolas en

el exterior junto a la OTAN

Estonia

Letonia

RUSIA

Lituania

LITUANIA y ESTONIA

UCRANIA

Policía Aérea

del Báltico BAP. Primavera 2022

Rumanía

Mar Negro

150

Militares

 

7

Eurofighters

Bulgaria

Turquía

LETONIA

Presencia Reforzada Avanzada EFP

350

Militares

 

Carros de Combate ‘Leopardo 2E’ y

los Vehículos de Combate de Infantería ‘Pizarro’

Transporte Oruga Acorazado M-113 y Vehículos de Combate de Zapadores

 

Morteros Pesados y Misiles Contra Carro ‘Spike’

 

Controlador de Ataque Terminal Conjunto y Aeronave no tripulada ‘Raven’

RUMANÍA y

BULGARIA

TURQUÍA

Agrupación Naval Permanente

Apoyo a Turquía

Policía Aérea

del Mar Negro.

Febrero 2022

Cazaminas ‘Sella’.

41 Tripulación

 

Buque ‘Meteoro’

88 Tripulación

 

Fragata ‘Blas

de Lazo’

202 Tripulación

149

Militares

 

Artillería antiaérea

130

Militares

 

6

Eurofighters

Fuente: emad.defensa.gob.es

R.C.

Every year at different times, Spanish ships join one of the four multinational groups designed to give an immediate response in the Mediterranean, Black Sea, Atlantic, North Sea and the Baltic. Three ships have been assigned to anti-mine missions in recent weeks.

Spain has also had a military presence in Turkey since 2015, where it has deployed 150 soldiers and Patriot anti-missile batteries to protect the country from the Syrian threat.