The Admiral Chief of the General Staff of the Spanish Navy died this Friday

Farewell to AJEMA Admiral General Antonio Martorell, a sailor at the service of Spain

Yesterday we learned the sad news of the death of the highest command of the Spanish Navy, in office since February 11, 2021.

The Spanish Navy has communicated that Admiral General Chief of Staff of the Navy (AJEMA) Admiral General Antonio Martorell Lacave passed away this Friday at 1900 hours in Madrid, "as a consequence of the illness that he had been suffering in recent weeks. The AJEMA has died in peace, entrusted to the Virgen del Carmen, accompanied by his wife and children."

Admiral General Martorell devoted forty-four years of his life to serving Spain in the Navy, a commitment and willingness to serve that he has maintained until the last moment. The Navy has declared two days of mourning, "keeping the flags of all its ships, units and installations flown at half mast."

Admiral General Martorell in his inauguration as AJEMA on February 11, 2021 (Photo: Armada Española).

His record, published by the Navy, testifies to his service to Spain as a sailor. Admiral General Martorell Lacave was born in Bilbao on August 22, 1960, he was married and had three children . He entered the Naval Military School in 1979, receiving his commission as Ensign in 1984. Throughout his career he was on board frigates, corvettes, minesweepers and minehunters.

He was Commander of the Minesweeper "Miño", first Commander of the Minesweeper "Turia", Commander of the 1st Squadron for Mine Action (MCM), Commander of the Permanent Group of Anti-Mine Measures No. 2 of NATO and Commander of the Amphibious Assault Ship "Castilla". In the Afloat Staff, he was Chief of Orders of the 2nd Minesweeper Squadron and the 21st Escort Squadron.

Among his destinations on land, it is worth noting that he was a professor at the Higher School of the Armed Forces and Head of the Torpedo Workshop of the Cartagena Arsenal, he was assigned three times to the Army General Staff and was Head of the European Union Area of the Directorate General for Defense Policy, as well as Head of the Exercises Section at the NATO Joint Headquarters in Naples.

Admiral General Martorell during a lecture given to the students of the XXII Armed Forces General Staff Course on June 24, 2021 (Photo: Escuela Superior de las Fuerzas Armadas).

Admiral General Martorell had a Diploma in Staff and a specialist in Submarine Weapons, and took, among others, the Advanced Tactics Officer and Communications aptitude courses. Abroad he completed the High Level PCSD Course of the European School of Security and Defense, the NATO Senior Officer Policy Course, the Bi-SC Command and Control Course and the Combined Force Maritime Component Commander Course.

On July 29, 2014, he was promoted to Rear Admiral and appointed Chief of the Logistics Division of the Navy General Staff. On April 20, 2015, he was appointed Commander of Naval Action Group 2. On June 6, 2017, he was appointed Admiral of Naval Action (ALNAV), being in command of the Naval Action Force, and Commander of the Spanish High Availability Maritime Forces (COMSPMARFOR). On June 23, 2017, he was promoted to Vice Admiral. In in November 2017 he was appointed Operational Commander of the European Union Strategic Level Headquarters in Spain (ES EU OHQ), and between March and October 2019 he was Commander of Operation ATALANTA of the European Union. On October 9 of that same year, he was appointed Commander of the High Availability Maritime Headquarters.

On May 19, 2020, he was promoted to Admiral and appointed Admiral of the Fleet (ALFLOT), leaving the Navy surface ships and submarines under his command.

He possessed the Grand Cross of Naval Merit and of the Royal and Military Order of San Hermenegildo and twelve other national and foreign military decorations.

On February 9, 2021, he was promoted to Admiral General and appointed Admiral Chief of Staff of the Navy, a position in which he was still serving Spain at the time of his death.

The death of the active AJEMA is sad news for the Navy and for those of us who have a special bond with it. From here I want to send my condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the deceased. Thank you, Admiral General, for this life dedicated to the service of Spain.

Give Lord eternal rest. May perpetual light shine for him. Rest in peace.

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