Military from Spain and six other allied countries participated in the homage

Multinational tribute in Besmayah to the Spanish military fallen in Iraq

Last Friday, March 29, at the “Gran Capitán” Base in Besmayah, in Iraq, members of the Spanish Army and the Spanish Civil Guard honored their fallen comrades in that country.

A great video of the Protection Force of the Spanish paratroopers in Besmayah
This is how the future ‘green berets’ of the Spanish Army are trained

At the moment the IX Spanish contingent is deployed in Iraq, formed by soldiers of the Brigade “Guzmán el Bueno” X of Córdoba, the Infantry Regiment “Garellano” nº45 of Bilbao and of other units of the Spanish Army, the Spanish Air Force and the Spanish Civil Guard. The troops of the Spanish Army will be relieved in May by soldiers of the “Canarias” XVI Brigade. Here we see Brigadier General Carlos Prada Larrea, head of the Spanish contingent, reviewing the troop.

During this act of homage, General Prada addressed the military present, who carry out training missions for the Iraqi Army and the Iraqi Police to fight against ISIS, within the framework of Operation Inherent Resolve.

In this tribute to the Spaniards fallen in Iraq, military of other allied nations also participated, concretely Portugal, the United States, France, Canada and the United Kingdom.

As tradition marks, the tribute to those who gave their lives for Spain was accompanied by the “Toque de Oración” (Touch of Prayer), with the participation of the flags of the Spanish military units deployed in Besmayah.

Both Spaniards and soldiers from other countries deposited wreaths in the monument that remembers in Besmayah the Spanish fallen in Iraq. The American soldiers deposited in the monument a flag of their country, folded in the shape of a triangle, as they usually do to honor their fallen.

In the monument of the “Gran Capitán” Base, next to the Cross and the Coat of Arms of Spain, the names of the fallen ones appear.

The names that appear in that monument are the following, in this order:

  • Captain Manuel Martín-Oar Fernández-Heredia. Spanish Navy. Killed in a terrorist attack in Baghdad on August 20, 2003.
  • First sergeant José Antonio Bernal Gómez. Spanish Air Force. Killed in a terrorist attack in Baghdad on October 9, 2003.
  • Sergeant Luis Antonio Puga Gandara. Spanish Army. Deceased by accidental firing in Diwaniya on October 26, 2003.
  • Commander José Merino Olivera. Spanish Army, serving with the National Intelligence Center (CNI). Killed in terrorist attack in Mahmudiya on November 29, 2003.
  • Commander José Carlos Rodríguez Pérez. Spanish Army, serving with the National Intelligence Center (CNI). Killed in terrorist attack in Mahmudiya on November 29, 2003.
  • Commander Alberto Martínez González. Spanish Army, serving with the National Intelligence Center (CNI). Killed in terrorist attack in Mahmudiya on November 29, 2003.
  • Commander Carlos Baró Ollero. Spanish Army, serving with the National Intelligence Center (CNI). Killed in terrorist attack in Mahmudiya on November 29, 2003.
  • Brigade José Lucas Egea. Spanish Army, serving with the National Intelligence Center (CNI). Killed in terrorist attack in Mahmudiya on November 29, 2003.
  • Brigade Alfonso Vega Calvo. Spanish Army, serving with the National Intelligence Center (CNI). Killed in terrorist attack in Mahmudiya on November 29, 2003.
  • Sergeant primero Luis Ignacio Zanón Tarazona. Spanish Army, serving with the National Intelligence Center (CNI). Killed in terrorist attack in Mahmudiya on November 29, 2003.
  • Commander Gonzalo Pérez García. Spanish Civil Guard. Killed in a terrorist attack in Diwaniya on February 4, 2004.
  • Soldier Aarón Vidal López. Spanish Army. Died in accident during maneuvers in Besmayah on September 8, 2016.

“The honor claimed it and they obeyed,
they were required by duty and abided;
With their blood the enterprise signed,
with their effort the Homeland enlarged.

They were big and strong, because they were
faithful to the oath that they pledged.
That’s why, as brave they fought,
and as heroes they died.

For the Homeland dying was their destiny,
to love Spain, their eternal passion,
to serve in the Armies, their vocation and fate.

They did not want to serve another Flag,
they did not want to go another way,
They did not know how to live otherwise.”

Photos: Spc. Brandon Best / US Army / DVIDShub.

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