Chief of Defence Staff of Spain

Air Force General
José Julio Rodríguez Fernández

2008 -

Born in Orense on June 8th, 1948, he joined the Air Force Academy, Class of 1969 XXI Promoción, and was promoted to Air Force Lieutenant in July 1969.

As a Lieutenant, he served in Wing 21, based at Morón de la Frontera, where he flew F-5 fighters.

As Captain he was stationed with Wing 11 (Manises) and, following his promotion to Major in February 1982, was transferred in May of the same year to the Logistical Support Command (MALOG), where he returned after completing the Chiefs of Staff Course at the Higher Air Force College.

In January 1968 he was appointed to the Spanish Joint Chiefs of Staff for Defense, where he remained until September 1987; he then started a tour of duty with NETMA (NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency), working on the EF-2000 Program in Munich, and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in April 1989. In September 1990 he returned to the Logistical Support Command and in January 1991 moved to Wing 31 (Zaragoza), staying with this F-18 unit until January 1994, when he again rejoined MALOG.

In August 1996, while serving in the Systems Division of MALOG, he was promoted to Colonel. He remained in this command until February 1998, when he was named Head of the Logistics Center for Armaments and Experimentation (CLAEX)

Upon his promotion to Brigadier General in March 2000, he was named Head of the Planning Division of the Air Force Chiefs of Staff, a position he combined with that of Head of the NAEW Program and, from November 2002 on, with those of Head of the National Group and Chairman of the Multinational Automated Aerial Refueling Group (AAR), set up under NATO.

In June 2003 he was named Director of Logistical Support Command Systems, and in July of that year he was promoted to Major General. In March 2005 he took up the post of Deputy to the Inspector General of the Information and Telecommunications Systems Director Plan.

Named General Manager for Armaments and Materiel in May 2006, he attained the rank of Lieutenant General in October 2006.

On July 18th, 2008 he was appointed Chief of Staff of the Spanish Armed Forces and promoted to Air Force General.

He has completed the following courses:

  • Fighter and Attack Pilot
  • Transport Pilot
  • Air Force Chiefs of Staff Diploma
  • Higher International Studies
  • ACE Intelligence (UK)
  • Higher Management and Resources Administration
  • Higher Defense Studies

He holds the following decorations:

  • Grand Cross of the Royal and Military Order of San Hermenegildo
  • Grand Cross of Aeronautical Merit
  • Insignia, Knight Commander and Cross of the Royal and Military Order of San Hermenegildo
  • Three Crosses of Aeronautical Merit