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Ministry of Defence

Ejército de Tierra

'Boletín Tierra' Newspaper Reports

Monday, November 15, 2010

Number: 759


The King presents the Flag to the Museum director The members of the final Spanish force deployed in Bosnia-Herzegovina have arrived at 11:30 am today, 15th November, on Torrejón Air Base aboard a Spanish Air Force aircraft from Sarajevo. With their return to Spain, an 18 year mission has been brought to a close definitively and one in which over 46,000 Spanish service persons have taken part, the bulk from the Army.  His Majesty the King has presided over the military ceremony held following their arrival, in which he has been accompanied by the ministress of Defence, the Joint Chief of the Defence Staff, the Secretary of State on Defence, the Chiefs of Staff of the Army, the Navy and the air Force, as well as the general director of the Police and the Civil Guard.  King Juan Carlos has received official honours and reviewed the company made up of service personnel from all three Branches of the Armed Forces and the Civil Guard, who remained on the airfield esplanade. On behalf of the army, present were the Honour Squad, Military Band and a platoon from the King’s 1st Immemorial Infantry Regiment.  After this, Flags from the United Nations, NATO and the European Union were incorporated, along with the guidons of all the Spanish task forces that have deployed in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The ministress during her address on the base in Torrejón

  His Majesty has received from the Joint Chief of the Defence Staff the last Spanish Flag to fly over Sarajevo, and, at the same time, King Juan Carlos presented it to the director of the Army Museum for its safeguard.  The ministress of Defence has given an address of gratitude to the Spanish Armed Forces for the labour that they have undertaken in Bosnia-Herzegovina, by protecting the victims of the war, facilitating understanding between the former enemies and assisting in the reconstruction of the country:  “We are all in debt to these valiant soldiers.  They risked their lives to bring peace to the Balkans, which we all know was the peace of Europe.  Their example and sacrifice marks the route for us in the missions that we are now undertaking in Lebanon, the Golf of Aden or Afghanistan, where someday they will also enjoy security and peace.  Congratulations to you and thank you very much”.

The 2nd COS has participated in the tribute ceremony

Finally, a tribute ceremony has been carried out to those who have given their lives for Spain, in which the names of the 23 Spanish service persons killed in Bosnia-Herzegovina have been read. Participating in the ceremony have been the 2nd Chief of the Army Staff, Lieutenant General Martín Villalaín, who was commander of the multinational force in that country between 2007 and 2008, within the framework of the European Union’s Operation "Althea”; General Zorzo, who was at the command of the first force; and Lieutenant Colonel Herrezuelo, commander of the final task force.

Extraordinary Defence Award 

Precisely the Spanish service persons who have undertaken their work in Bosnia-Herzegovina have been presented the latest Extraordinary Defence Award, “for their special contribution, on behalf of Spanish society, to peace, stability and the reconstruction of the Balkans for the last 18 years”, according to the Ministerial Order that will be published tomorrow in the Official State Bulletin.