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King Felipe watches on as Spain displays its defence preparedness

King Felipe VI of Spain witnessed the country’s Armed Forces joint exercises in different spots of the Balearic Islands, in an operation named “Eagle-Eye”. 

On 22nd March, His Majesty travelled to Palma de Maiorca, where he was welcomed by the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, Admiral General Teodoro Esteban López Calderón, and other military officials. 

His first stop was the Base Operations Centre, where he listened to top military officials discuss emergency defense readiness plans, before moving to the exterior, where he watched a trial run of a scramble order, carried out by two F18s. 

His next destination was Ibiza Airport, where he watched aerial defense systems, including the Command Centre, the Informations and Operations Centre, the Personnel and Logistics Centre and the Fire Directory Centre. Once outside again, he witnessed the shooting of a Hawk missile from a Mistral missile launcher, which concluded the aerial defense potion of his tour. 

He then boarded an SH60F helicopter that took him on the Cristóbal Colón frigate, where he listened to the aerial defense capabilities of the ship, and a recap of the prop created for this exercise, which finished with a flight past of the aircraft that took part in the trial. 

King Felipe then posed for an official photograph with the troops aboard the frigate, before sitting down for lunch with top officials in the Chief of Fleet Quarters. 

This might have been classified as a regular annual occurrence, but it’s clear that all EU and NATO countries have been intensifying their efforts to be prepared at least for defensive operations, since Russia invaded Ukraine almost 13 months ago. 

This is not the first time over the course of this year that the King has watched military exercises, or visited military facilities.