Cable sobre la cúpula militar nombrada por Chacón

En octubre de 2008 el embajador traza un retrato de los nuevos mandos tras conocerlos en una recepción

ID: 173674
Date: 2008-10-14 16:20:00
Origin: 08MADRID1092
Source: Embassy Madrid
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Dunno: 08MADRID1021 08MADRID790
Destination: VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMD #1092/01 2881620
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 141620Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5444
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
INFO RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFISS/COMUSNAVEUR NAPLES IT
RUENAAA/SECNAV WASHINGTON DC
RUEWMFD/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE

C O N F I D E N T I A L MADRID 001092

SIPDIS

OSD COL PATRICK A. MCCLELLAND
JCS FOR LTC THERESE PAWLOWSKI
STATE FOR ELAINE SAMSON AND STACIE ZERDECKI, EUR/WE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/14/2018
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, MARR, SP
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR HITS RIGHT NOTES WITH NEW SPANISH
MILITARY LEADERSHIP

REF: A. MADRID 790
B. MADRID 1021
C. DAO MADRID IIR 6 889 0272 08
D. DAO MADRID IIR 6 889 0273 08
E. DAO MADRID IIR 6 889 0274 08

Classified By: DCM Arnold A. Chacon, for reasons 1.4(b) and (d)

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Ambassador Aguirre ensured that Spain's
outgoing Chief of Defense and the Chiefs of the Spanish Army,
Navy and Air Force Staff were properly celebrated September
25. Hosting a cocktail reception for more than 90 attendees,
complete with a color guard and a 6-piece military jazz band,
the Ambassador recognized the exemplary careers of the
retiring military leadership and honored the new "cupola."
During a round of courtesy calls begun September 15 with the
new CHOD, Ambassador Aguirre was able to meet the new
leadership one-on-one, reinforcing the excellent
military-to-military relationship and engaging the new chiefs
on key USG interests. The calls also served to introduce his
new Deputy Chief of Mission and to explain the U.S. election
timetable that could result in an extended period as Charge
d'Affaires.

//VALEDICTORY "RAZZMATAZZ"//

2. (SBU) The Ambassador hosted the reception in honor of
General Felix Sanz Roldan, the recently departed CHOD who has
assumed a new role as special envoy for EU defense matters,
and the recently departed Chiefs of Staff of the Air Force
and Army and the former CNO. The CHOD and all the service
chiefs were relieved on July 21 (ref A). Naval Station Rota
provided a Joint Color Guard and the Sixth Fleet Band
provided a six-piece Jazz Ensemble. The event, unusual by
Spanish military standards that do not allow for "change of
command" ceremonies, per se, was a huge success with the
honorees and their wives in attendance as well as the current
CHOD, and the new Air Force Chief of Staff and Chief of Naval
Operations. Ambassador Aguirre addressed each of the
outgoing officers and presented flags that had flown over the
U.S. Embassy to retiring CNO Admiral Zaragoza, former Air
Force Chief of Staff General Garcia de la Vega, and outgoing
Spanish Army Chief of Staff General Villar. To General Sanz,
the Ambassador presented a framed edition of the "Don't Tread
on Me" flag flown over U.S. Navy ships since September 11,
and explained its historical symbolism dating back to the
Revolutionary War. Sanz spoke extemporaneously following the
Ambassador's remarks, recalling how his close association
with U.S. forces from the earliest days of his military
career had been instrumental to his professional success and
his enduring goodwill toward the United States.

3. (C) In the lead-up to the unprecedented hail and farewell
party, Ambassador Aguirre sought courtesy calls with the
entire new cupola. He congratulated each officer on his new
position, reviewed key programs in the jurisdiction of each
of the services, and reviewed the robust exchange
relationships between U.S. and Spanish military academies and
staff colleges.

//CHIEF OF DEFENSE GENERAL RODRIGUEZ//

4. (C) Spanish Air Force Lieutenant General Jose Julio
Rodriguez Fernandez was named Chief of Defense (JEMAD) of the
Spanish Armed Forces on July 18 and replaced General Sanz on
July 21 (ref A). General Rodriguez is a fighter-attack pilot
by background. With 42 years of military service, he most
recently served as the Director General for Armament and
Materiel in the Ministry of Defense (the senior uniformed
acquisition official). During the Ambassador's September 15
courtesy call, Rodriguez was pleasant and low-key and
conveyed obvious admiration and good feeling toward his
predecessor. The Ambassador congratulated Rodriguez on his
promotion and invited him to take part in the planned
reception. Rodriguez, who was originally not scheduled to be
in town September 25, told the Ambassador that "things could
change" and, in fact, attended.

5. (C) The CHOD briefed the Ambassador on the meeting of NATO
CHODS he had attended in Bulgaria the weekend of September
13, especially the considerable time spent discussing
Georgia. Rodriguez also made reference to turning the page

in Afghanistan, expressing the idea that the U.S. election
presented opportunities for the Zapatero Administration to
modify some of its foreign policy positions. The Ambassador
and the CHOD agreed there was no baggage between the United
States and Spain on Afghanistan. The Ambassador also
referenced shared Spanish and U.S. interests in the context
of the U.S. Africa Command. The Ambassador sought the CHOD's
views on the likelihood Spain would sign a Letter of
Agreement by October 31 to purchase Tomahawk missiles.
Rodriguez indicated the action was with the MOD and noted the
draft 2009 budget -- with not more than a 5 per cent increase
expected over last year -- was not out yet. Rodriguez
indicated that the Navy, in accordance with Spanish
procedure, must present its case for this requirement to the
Ministry of Defense. The Ambassador asked him to let us know
if there was a problem. Turning to other potential
acquisitions, the Ambassador told Rodriguez that the United
States hoped that the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) could be the
solution to Spain's long-term requirement for modern tactical
aircraft replacements for its Air Force and Navy. Again
citing Spain's process for filling these kinds of
requirements, Rodriguez allowed that, for the fighter
requirement, the process was just beginning. Finally, GEN
Rodriguez agreed to host Admiral Fitzgerald for Spain's
National Day observance the weekend of October 11, including
securing an invitation to the King's reception.

//CHIEF OF SPANISH NAVY STAFF ADMIRAL REBOLLO//

6. (C) In office calls on September 18, the Ambassador
reinforced the same points with the new Chief of Naval
Operations and the Army's Chief of Staff. Admiral Rebollo,
who assumed his duties July 21, was warm and engaging. He
had been former CNO Admiral Zaragoza's Vice Chief of Naval
Operations and is expected to continue to support Zaragoza's
naval initiatives. He has the distinction of having started
his military career as an enlisted man. Rebollo also said
the Tomahawk decision was now going to the MOD, and he was
hopeful but not certain the MOD would approve the purchase.
Concerning piracy, the Admiral observed Spain's deployment of
a P-3 maritime patrol aircraft was more of a political show
than a substantive military action. The Ambassador asked
that Spain consider hosting the headquarters portion of
forthcoming AFRICOM and SOCEUR Flintlock exercise (originally
intended for Mauritania), and Admiral Rebollo agreed to
consider it. (NOTE: On October 9 we received formal
agreement from Spain to host this important exercise at Rota.
End note.)

//CHIEF OF SPANISH ARMY STAFF GENERAL COLL//

7. (C) Also on September 18, the Ambassador thanked General
Fulgencio Coll for Spain's contributions to overseas
deployments in Lebanon, Kosovo, Bosnia, and Afghanistan and
sought Coll's views on the possibility of lifting the cap of
3,000 on Spanish overseas deployments. General Coll was very
warm and engaging and seemed pleased the Ambassador was
making the call. Prior to his July 18 appointment (ref A),
Coll had carried out two of this Socialist Government's most
significant military decisions ) the withdrawal from Iraq in
2004 and the establishment of the Emergency Military Unit
(UME, or Unidad Militar de Emergencia) in 2006. GEN Coll was
born in Palma de Mallorca and comes from a distinguished
Balearic military and political family. His father,
Fulgencio Coll de San Simon, was also a general in the
Spanish Army and former President of Provincial Deputation,
as well as Civil Governor of Bilbao in the 1970s. GEN Coll
entered the Spanish military academy in 1966 and graduated as
an infantry branch lieutenant in 1970. Unlike other Spanish
general officers, he has spent long periods of time in troop
units and especially in command positions as a senior
officer.

//CHIEF OF SPANISH AIR FORCE STAFF GENERAL JIMENEZ//

8. (C) The new head of the Spanish Air Force, General Jose
Jimenez Ruiz, also warmly received Ambassador Aguirre on
September 25, just hours before the reception in his honor.
During the 30-minute call, followed by a tour of Air Force
headquarters, General Jimenez spoke openly about his family.
The Ambassador reiterated to Jimenez his thanks for Spain's
contributions to overseas deployments. Until May 2008,


Jimenez had served as the commander of the Spanish Air Forces
in the Canary Islands (ref A). He was a surprise pick for
the top Air Force job, advancing from being a soon-to-retire
2-star general to a four-star Chief virtually overnight.
According to DAO sources, he was considering retirement from
the Canaries in May, when he was told by someone in the
Ministry of Defense not to submit his paperwork. Within the
month, he had received a promotion to Lieutenant General, a
fact unknown to then-Air Force Chief of Staff, General Garcia
de la Vega. When the Minister of Defense replaced the Chief
of Defense and all three service chiefs in July, General
Jimenez was given a fourth star and named Air Force Chief of
Staff.

//Comment//

9. (C) We enjoyed a very close relationship with the previous
CHOD and service chiefs. The initial encounters with their
replacements suggest that excellent working relationship is
going to continue. The Spanish military is highly
disciplined to its civilian leadership, but it is worth
remembering that whatever our differences with Spanish
politicians, the armed forces are always well-disposed to
work with the U.S., both bilaterally and the context of NATO.
The agreement to host the Flintlock exercise, obtained on
very short notice when events in Mauritania made that venue
inadvisable, is important in and of itself, but it is also a
symbol of how healthy the military-to-military relationship
is.
AGUIRRE

Otras noticias

Traduce este documento »

Traducción automática. Puede que el texto traducido no sea fiel al original

Buscador de cables

Ver todos los documentos »

Últimas noticias

Ver todo el día

Sanidad aprueba sacar 282 plazas en la oferta pública de empleo

La oferta se dirige a médicos, pediatras y farmacéuticos

Doctor Divago, un cuarto de siglo por escrito

La banda valenciana celebra sus bodas de plata con la independencia y la honestidad a través de un libro

Iberdrola pagará un dividendo anual de 0,27 euros

EP

El primer pago se materializará a través de un 'scrip dividend' por 0,127 euros para los accionistas que deseen recibirlo en efectivo

Las denuncias de Hacienda por delito fiscal caen un 11%

El año pasado la organización inspeccionó a 26124 contribuyentes, un 5,45% más que en 2012

Lo más visto en...

» Top 50

Webs de PRISA

cerrar ventana