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Spanish army
Ministry of Defence
Spanish army

Ejército de Tierra

Redeployment Support: CONAPRE

Relief troops started to arrive in mid-April but their deployment was interrupted on 18 April when the force was ordered to return. A contingent of over 1,000 legionnaires and specialists of the Engineer Command was sent to ensure the safe evacuation of the facilities and transport the materiel deployed to Kuwait.

On 21 April General Fulgencio Coll transferred command to General José Manuel Muñoz, head of the Redeployment Support Contingent (CONAPRE by its Spanish acronym). The Plus Ultra II Brigade was officially dissolved on 29 April at Botoa (Badajoz).

The priority of the mission was to ensure safety during transfers of personnel and materiel, which required coordinating the operation with US forces. The first phase of redeployment came to an end on 26 April, when the roughly 150 Spanish soldiers who had been stationed at the “Al-Andalus” base in Najaf headed for the “España” base in Diwaniya, while US soldiers took over “Al-Andalus” to avoid it being seized by the militias of radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, which were occupying the town. The redeployment operation was also coordinated with the Polish command of the Centre-South Division into which the Plus Ultra II Brigade was integrated. The last 260 Spanish soldiers of the brigade arrived in Kuwait in the afternoon of 27 April, thus bringing to an end the unit’s evacuation from Iraq.

The last ship arrived in the port of Valencia on 14 July and the 31st Logistic Support Unit (UALOG by its Spanish acronym), which is based in Paterna (Valencia), was entrusted with the diagnosis and delivery of the 85 armoured vehicles, 500 wheeled vehicles, 4 helicopters and 260 containers repatriated. The UALOG was headed by Colonel Díez and included personnel from 15 different units.

The Logistic Unit within CONAPRE in charge of redeployment was the 3rd National Support Element (NSE III), made up of members from the 41st Logistic Support Group of Zaragoza and medical personnel from the EMAT-Centro unit. It consisted of a Supply Unit, a Maintenance Unit, a Transport Unit and a Medical Assistance Unit, totalling 204 men and women. The Unit was responsible for the logistic procedures and steps to prepare the materiel and ensure that it was redeployed to Spain in proper conditions:

  • Estimating and contracting the means necessary for transport (containers and vehicles).
  • Inventory control by receiving materiel from the different units, compiling the appropriate records and preparing the Final Inventory of the operation.
  • Organising contents before placing them in the containers.
  • Revision and classification of vehicles.
  • Cleaning and disinfection (including NBC and FMD treatment).

The materiel used by the different Spanish detachments in Baghdad, Najaf and Babil was initially redeployed to the “España” base in Diwaniya and subsequently transported to Kuwait. The convoys were ambushed several times while en route.

The Spanish contingent stayed at the “Camp Virginia” US base in the Kuwaiti desert until 27 June. From there it arranged the transport of the materiel for redeployment with the means contracted from Spain: three ships and two Antonov-type aircraft. In all, 576 vehicles and trailers of all sorts and 366 20ft shipping containers were involved transporting over 600 tonnes of cargo.

On 27 June the unit was redeployed to the base of the 31st Logistic Support Unit in Paterna. On 7 August it was dissolved, bringing its activity to an end.