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Conclusions - Spanish Navy Guidelines 2012 - AJEMA's Page - Armada Española - Ministerio de Defensa - Gobierno de España

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Tuesday, 17 September 2019 - document to 16:20:02

Spanish Navy Guidelines 2012 AJEMA's Page

Conclusions AJEMA's Page

The present document ‘Spanish Navy General Guidelines 2012’ describes the goals I intend to promote in the coming years. It also contains a series of guidelines to direct the activities of the Spanish Navy.

The Navy, as part of the Spanish Armed Forces, has the responsibility –among other missions– to assure the sovereignty and independence of Spain, and contribute to its security and defense.

Given the critical importance of these missions, it is essential to have the capability to carry them out with success. To this end, we have a Naval Force –the Fleet– whose adequate training is the ultimate goal of all activities of the Spanish Navy.

Our Fleet, although medium-sized, is a modern and balanced Force. Those qualities permit the Navy to carry out a wide variety of tasks with technological leadership, proficiency and safety. My intention is to keep on working to preserve and develop these capabilities, and therefore the first goal is to ensure the adequate training of the Fleet so that the Spanish Navy may fulfill its missions.

For that purpose the human factor is a key element and, consequently, a series of solid values must be fostered among Navy members: integrity, loyalty, discipline, responsibility, courage and comradeship. The very nature of our missions and the domain where we operate requires those values, not to mention a comprehensive technical training and the pursuit of excellence in all our endeavors. Accordingly, the second goal is to watch over Spanish Navy personnel so that, based on a solid set of values, may be adequately motivated and trained.

The goals I have just mentioned will steer my main decisions as Chief of Naval Staff. Nevertheless, and in the current context, there are a series of important constraints which we cannot ignore.

The first and foremost is the economic crisis which is a colossal challenge for Spain and thus, for the Spanish Navy. The crisis implies budget reductions with a direct impact on the activity and readiness of the Force on the one hand, and the motivation of its people on the other. It involves intensive expenditure controls and prioritization of resources. As a result, my third goal is the management of the available materiel and economic resources with discipline and austerity.

Another external element which determines our activities and requires special attention is the incipient transformation process of the Armed Forces which is being endorsed by the National Defense Directive and scheduled for implementation during the present military planning cycle. In the short term, there is a need for a review of the current design of the Spanish Navy structures. This process requires the definition of a fourth goal: to carry out the necessary organic changes and assure that the resultant organization meets the intended objectives.

Both circumstances, economic crisis and organic changes, may pose a few uncertainties in the near future. It is my intention that those uncertainties may not jeopardize the Fleet renovation plans. Most of our endeavors will be devoted to planning the Navy of the future, preserving the necessary capabilities to efficiently carry out the assigned missions. The fifth goal therefore is to preserve the operational capability of the future Fleet with the relevant upgrading plans.

The Spanish Navy is an institution with a distinguished history and deep-rooted values, ready to serve society and fulfill the important missions assigned. We can be proud of the work we do and it is worth making it known to our fellow citizens. For this reason the sixth goal is to make known the activities of the Spanish Navy.


The aforementioned goals are my main priorities as Chief of Naval Staff. In order to attain those objectives the following guidelines are hereby issued:

1.         To ensure the adequate training of the Fleet so that the Spanish Navy may fulfill its missions.

Training of the Naval Force is oriented towards the accomplishment of specific capabilities and its participation in the Joint Action, without undermining the intrinsic and fundamental tasks assigned to the Navy. The range of missions is ample:

  • Deterrence and Defense
  • Crisis Management
  • Maritime Security
  • Cooperative Security
  • Support to other State departments with responsibility in the maritime domain.

It is hardly feasible to organize the whole Force for all and each one of these missions. To this end, a compromise must be accomplished between what is more demanding and more probable. In the current scenario, training will be directed towards the more probable missions of each unit. Those very missions will determine priorities as regards existing systems, establishing which are more important and which are less vital. When training and preparing the Force, priority will also be given to the criteria established by the Chief of the Defense Staff (JEMAD).

Likewise, and taking into account the budgetary availability in the medium term, different readiness categories will be assigned to specific units. Some units will be in full readiness in order to have a balanced Naval Force capable of successfully meeting the commitments undertaken, even though this will imply a decrease in the activities of other units. All this will be planned trying not to lose combat capabilities which may be difficult to win back in the future.

2. To watch over Spanish Navy personnel so that they may be adequately motivated and trained.

As always, the Spanish Navy needs motivated and committed people with values, capable of exercising a responsible leadership.

The main goal, accordingly, is to have a cohesive group of people where each and every one of them may take upon themselves the personal efforts to face this crisis, while understanding that their work is useful and necessary for the proper operation of the Navy.

The following are the main personnel guidelines:

  • Striving for excellence in education, enhancing the capacity and quality of schools and academies. With minimum scheduled enrollments foreseen, priority will be given to improve education of personnel already taking part of the Navy.
  • Definite implementation in the Spanish Navy of the Military Career Law and the Law on Troops and Ratings.
  • Special attention to the organic review process of the Armed Forces, watching over the interests of the individuals and the inherent peculiarities of the Spanish Navy.
  • Study opportunities for balancing family and working life while preserving the interests of the Spanish Navy.
  • Arrange an Internal Communication Plan aimed at making known the overall policies of the Navy among its members, as well as any other information of interest.

3. Management of the available materiel and economic resources with discipline and austerity.

The Naval Force requires costly materiel resources: warships, aircraft, vehicles, weapon systems and supplies, to mention but a few. In order to maintain the current capabilities, our driving criteria will be austerity and efficiency in the management of the available assets and resources whilst always safeguarding the standard conditions of security of personnel and materiel.

At least for the coming years, we are expecting severe economic restraints with important cuts in maintenance and investments. Priorities will be established for the sustainment of units and the following measures taken:

  • Thorough preparation of Budgets with permanent control over the expenses.
  • Review the logistic support structure of the Navy.
  • Review internal control procedures of procurement programs.
  • Collaboration in the efficient management and use of real state assets.
  • Optimizing training opportunities of units crews
  • Maintain, as far as possible, the allocation of economic resources in education and maximize the performance of its assets.
  • Raise all the navy´s personnel awareness about the strict measures needed to improve efficiency.
  • Continue assessing the feasibility of deploying Spanish warships in collaboration with other Navies.

4. To carry out the necessary organic changes and assure that the resultant organization meets the intended objectives.

The military planning for this legislative term of office contemplates a Parliament Ruling on the Armed Forces Organization Law before August 2013. Previously, the Spanish Navy must review its organic structure, including our geographic layout in national territory, tasks and operational procedures, and rationalize its internal organization in order to:

  • Give priority to the operational capability
  • Eliminate organizational duplicities.
  • Strengthen organic structures
  • Improve management
  • Increase coordination with common and joint bodies.

This review will be carried out in coordination with the Chief of the Defense Staff (JEMAD) in agreement with the implementing criteria which are currently being determined. Among them:

  • A balance between Force, Force Support and General Headquarters structures.
  • Adopt similar structures in the Navy, Army and Air Force.
  • Study how to improve logistic support to ships, units and facilities.
  • Analyze the Fleet structure, considering a unit or body as part of the Force, only if transferrable to the operational structure. The remaining units will be transferred to Fleet Support.
  • Analyze the responsibilities of current local Naval Commands (Comandancias Navales) and Maritime Command Posts (Ayudantías Navales), as well as other institutional representation departments.
  • Review the CIS architecture of the Spanish Navy to simplify its structure.
  • Analyze the system of educational centers and study if mergers are feasible.
  • Adapt the Spanish Navy to the cyber-security environment.
  • Review the organization and performance of Occupational Risk Prevention and Operative Security.

5. To preserve the operational capability of the future Fleet with the relevant upgrading plans.

During the past years the Spanish Navy has been able to organize and maintain a balanced, modern and flexible Fleet; in other words, a Naval Force capable of carrying out a wide range of foreseeable missions both, in national (specific or joint) or in multinational scenarios. A case in point is the creation of the Special Naval Warfare Force, the completion of sea trials and readiness of the LHD ‘Juan Carlos I’, and the delivery of the AOR ‘Cantabria’ and other Maritime Action ships (BAM).

The Spanish Navy must continue looking at the future, which means procuring new units in a responsible and controlled way. The following are the Spanish Navy priorities:

  • Procure five new F-110 frigates to replace the ‘Santa María’-class frigates.
  • Procure a second batch of BAM ships in different versions: 3 OPVs, 1 submarine rescue vessel and 1 oceanographic research vessel.
  • Procure six SH-60F helicopters
  • Procure high mobility tactical vehicles (VAMTAC)
  • Procure 10 unmanned air vehicles (UAVs)
  • Carry out the necessary refurbishing works in Cartagena Shipyards in support of the S-80 submarine.
  • Carry out the necessary refurbishing works in Las Palmas Shipyards in support of BAM ships.
  • Upgrading of the ‘Harpoon’ Block II missile.

For all those developments priority will be given to the national naval industry. Research activities, development and innovation in the Spanish Navy and Naval Industry will also be encouraged so as to keep them updated from the technological point of view, a crucial requirement to uphold future capabilities.

6. To make known the activities of the Spanish Navy.

It is important for the Spanish Navy to promote communication strategies to make itself known to society. The more they get to know us, the more they will appreciate the work we do. By opening our doors to Spanish society we intend to gain prestige and transmit the relevance and importance of our missions, strengthening our identity and the satisfaction of being part of this Institution. Steps to be taken:

  • Design a Strategic Communications Plan aimed at Spanish society as a whole, and, for specific cases of special interest, organizations and groups of people with connections with the Spanish Navy.
  • Pay special attention to institutional relations with other departments with common interests or concerns, fostering mutual understandings and selecting support and collaboration areas.


As I said at the beginning, it is essential for the Spanish Navy to carry out the missions assigned with success. We have a solid organization, modern and efficient assets and, above all, people with excellent professional skills and solid values.

In the years ahead, a new scenario of economic restrictions and changes in the organization will be decisive factors which, under no circumstances, should jeopardize the fulfillment of our missions.

In order to meet these challenges it is time to concentrate our efforts and keep on working in the well-marked direction of service to Spain which I have outlined in these General Guidelines.

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