Spain’s King Felipe held a videoconference with the Operations Command on Saturday for Armed Forces Day at the Retamares Base in Pozuelo de Alarcón.
The King was greeted by Minister of Defence, Margarita Robles; Chief of Defence Staff, Miguel Ángel Villarroya; Secretary of State for Defence, Ángel Olivares; Chief of Staff of the Army, General of the Army, Francisco Javier Varela Salas; Chief of Staff of the Navy, Admiral General Teodoro Esteban López Calderón; Chief of Staff of the Air Force, General of the Air, Javier Salto Martínez-Avial; and Commander of the Operations Command, Lieutenant General Fernando José López del Pozo.
A moment of silence was held for those who have died during the pandemic before the conference began. Then, Miguel Ángel Villarroya spoke before everyone was introduced.
Margarita Robles spoke ahead of His Majesty, and the King sent words of hope to those stationed across the globe. The King said: “We are overcoming the most important health crisis in our recent history, and there are still difficult times to overcome. They put us to the test again, but we are a great country that always faces difficulties, important or serious, and knows how to overcome them.”
His Majesty also stressed how he was “very proud of the deep identification of the Spanish people with its Armed Forces.”
“You have fought the effects of the virus on the front line: in our hospitals, in centres and residences; flying tirelessly to bring medical supplies from remote places; installing field hospitals, evacuating the sick, providing constant logistical support by land and sea at any place of Spain, also moving many deceased and accompanying their solitude with the greatest possible dignity. In short, you have faced any task that has been requested of you,” King Felipe said.
At the conclusion of the videoconference, those at Retamares Base took a group photo, while standing 1.8 metres apart, due to COVID guidelines.
Spain has had a total of 239,228 positive cases of COVID-19 with 27,125 deaths.