Soon there will be new contingents in Slovakia, Romania and Estonia

The military contingents that Spain plans to have abroad until December 2024

Spain currently participates in military missions in 13 countries, under the flags of the UN, NATO and the European Union.

Spanish military who are celebrating this Christmas far away from home
The airplanes and helicopters that the Spanish Air Force expects to receive soon

This Wednesday, the Council of Ministers approved the Spanish military missions planned until December 31, 2024. The following missions will be an extension of the current ones:

  • UNIFIL (Lebanon): Mission under the UN flag made up of 700 blue helmets, including personnel generated as a result of Spain assuming command of this force.
  • EUMAM (European Union Assistance Mission to Ukraine): As its name indicates, it is a mission under the flag of the European Union that consists of the training of Ukrainian soldiers in Spain. The government includes it in the list of missions abroad, but of the 300 Spanish soldiers involved in this mission, 298 soldiers are in Spain and 2 soldiers are in the EU MPCC (Military Planning and Conduct Capability), based in Brussels (Belgium). "The contribution to the EUMAM UA mission varies depending on the training modules activated," says the government.
  • EUFOR ALTHEA (Bosnia-Herzegovina): mission under the flag of the European Union, formed by 3 soldiers. "The number of troops to carry out demining training tasks may be slightly increased", according to the reference of the Council of Ministers.
  • EUNAVFOR ATALANTA (Horn of Africa): 375 soldiers. Mission under the flag of the European Union that includes the ESP-OHQ Headquarters of Rota for the Operation Command and two deployments (with CN-235 VIGMA aircraft of the Spanish Air Force) in the inter-monsoon periods.
  • EUTM SOMALIA (Somalia and Kenya): mission under the flag of the European Union formed by 21 soldiers.
  • EUTM RCA (Central African Republic): mission under the flag of the European Union formed by 9 soldiers.
  • EUTM MALI (Mali): 160 soldiers. Mission under the flag of the European Union. The contingent planned for 2024 will be smaller than that of 2023, "due to the strategic review and closure of Koulikoro Training Center, with Spain exercising leadership of the mission until May 2024," according to the government.
  • Operation Support to Mali / Ivory Detachment (Senegal): a support mission for Operation Barkhane developed by the French Armed Forces, with 90 soldiers from the Air Force, with a aircraft deployed and another available in national territory.
  • Coalition against DAESH/ISIS (Iraq): a mission under the NATO flag, made up of 400 soldiers, which includes "the current effort in personnel and capabilities for NM-I, as a consequence of the fact that Spain has assumed leadership of the mission until May 2024."
A Spanish Leopard 2E battle tank in Latvia (Photo: eFP Battle Group Latvia).

In addition, the government has authorized participation in other missions of reinforced Surveillance Activities and missions for deterrence and Defense within the Euro-Atlantic area:

  • Forward Presence of the Alliance and Reinforcement of the Eastern flank of Europe: a mission under the NATO flag with a maximum total of 1,700 soldiers associated with the implementation of the new posture of NATO Deterrence and Defense agreed at the Madrid Summit: "Includes the continuity of the deployment of ground forces in Latvia, and new contingents in Slovakia and Romania, and where appropriate in other allied countries supported by this future Spanish nucleus of Great Unity. It also includes the provision of a new rotation for anti-aircraft defense during the second semester in Estonia".
  • NATO or bilateral standing naval groups (SNF), included in the Maritime Component of the High Readiness Forces (VJTF) of the ARF (Allied Reaction Force) and the FSR (Review of Force Structure).
  • NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defense (NATO IAMD-Persistent Effort), with the following tasks:
    - Air Policing (a mission that takes place in the Baltic Countries).
    - Air Surveillance (radar surveillance).
    - Support for air and missile defensein the Baltic States and Turkey.
The frigate "Méndez Núñez" F-104 of the Spanish Navy during a recent deployment with the Second Permanent Maritime Group of NATO (SNMG2) in the Mediterranean Sea (Photo: Estado Mayor de la Defensa).

The reference of the Council of Ministers highlights the following about these missions: "Military operations and missions abroad constitute an essential instrument to materialize Spain's commitment to achieve, especially within the framework of the complexity of the current geopolitical context, an international environment of peace and stability based on a fairer and more cohesive multilateral system around the values and principles that underpin international legality."

Two Eurofighter Typhoons from the 11th Wing of the Spanish Air Force on their recent deployment to Estonia on a Baltic Air Police mission (Photo: Estado Mayor de la Defensa).


Main photo: Ejército de Tierra.

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