Welcome from General FRANCISCO JAVIER VARELA SALAS:
As I take up office as Chief of Staff of the Army, I want to first of all thank you for placing your trust in me and for giving me the great honour of being your Chief of Staff.
A soldier always willingly takes on new challenges and responsibilities, as we are trained this way, therefore I begin this new stage of my military career with optimism and enthusiasm. I know that, with your support, it will be worthwhile and we will continue to make progress. For my part, I want to put my loyalty, commitment and all my effort into the mission.
I have received from General Jaime Domínguez Buj, in his words, “the best Army Spain has seen in recent times.” I want to congratulate him for fulfilling his mission and exceeding expectations. I am receiving the command of a truly exceptional Army due to the personal and professional standard of its men and women and the level of efficiency that you demonstrate in your daily operations.
The key to success and to achieving excellence lies in the organisation’s structures, the technological level of its systems and, above all, exercising the values that define our profession. Among the professions with a demanding code of ethics, only the military profession demands the giving of one’s life. In order to be able to do this, if this should be the case, we must continue developing inherent military virtues, especially the three that are the foundation for all of the others: COURAGE, both morally and physically; LOYALTY in its four areas -loyalty to your command, to your subordinate, to your comrades and to yourself- and DISCIPLINE, a fundamental military virtue.
We are an institution that bases itself on effectiveness in these values and we have the obligation and responsibility to practice them and pass them on to new generations through our chain of command, as they were passed on to us, through the only possible tool: by setting an example.
My first fixed and unchangeable priority is, therefore, to preserve and protect our values.
Other aspects such as the necessary optimisation of structures, the use of advanced technology resources are also important, but together with other factors.
The new operational environment that we are facing demands that the Army makes an effort to maintain our structure while constantly adapting to situations and bringing the capabilities that the operational structure of the Army needs at all times in order to make the army an effective security and defence tool. This contribution must decide the framework of both planning and management structures, which today are of the greatest importance; and with a high level of interoperability in multinational environments. All this will allow us to be an essential player in our integrated operations.
We need to provide our Units with capabilities that are today exclusive to operational level and reduce their logistic impact in order to effectively face hybrid threats. In the future we will fight in urban environments, for and among the civil population and in front of the media. To prepare for this, we will need to train our Army on these scenarios and innovate.
I also consider that is is vital we encourage and continue developing activities that make us known to citizens, which has been named as Defence Culture.
I am aware of the challenge I am taking on, but I have no fear. I recognise the strengths of this religion of honourable men and women. I will give all my effort to this challenge and I am sure that, will the support of each and every one of you, I will be able to fulfil the promise of delivering the best service to our Army, to the Armed Forces and to Spain.
I thank you in advance for you time and your service; our staff are the backbone of the institution, the heart of the Forces, who give value to what we do.
Francisco Javier Varela Salas.