Updated: 15-Mar-2013
News > 2013  

ISAF 1-B Welcome Ceremony at Force Command Madrid

Written by ITA Major Pasquale DI BISCEGLIE
Pictures by FRA Chief Petty Officer Christian VALVERDE

On 15 March, Force Command Madrid celebrated the Welcome Parade and Reception for the HQ members who deployed in Afghanistan with rotation ISAF 1-B.

During the ceremony, held at 11:30 am and accompanied by the “Banda del Regimento de Infanteria Inmemorial del Rey n. 1”, all the personnel who had participated in the ISAF 1-B deployment were presented with a specially designed ISAF coin, as a memento for their tour of duty, by LTG Alfredo CARDONA TORRES, Commander Force Command Madrid.

Sons and daughters, wives and husbands were present in the flag square to salute their loved ones who had taken part in the NATO mission to ISAF.

“Just as it happened with the first rotation, I received information about your professionalism and dedication in the performance of assigned tasks” said LTG Alfredo CARDONA TORRES. “Tough days are over but alive in our memories. I hope you enjoyed your families and loved ones but always ready for the next operation commitment” added the FC Madrid Commander.

Immediately afterwards a reception was offered in Bar Retamares for all FC Madrid members who were invited to taste some typical Spanish food such as tortilla, jamon and salchica.

This relaxing atmosphere completed a very special celebration in Force Command Madrid Headquarters.

Information on Force Command Madrid mission in Afghanistan

In September 2010, Force Command Madrid received from Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) the task to support the Headquarters of the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul. Lieutenant General Alfredo CARDONA TORRES, Commander Force Command Madrid, gave the overall responsibility for all ISAF preparation to the Chief of Staff of the Deployable Joint Staff Element 2, Major General Federico BONATO. Theoretical preparations started in early 2011 and were followed by an intensive training phase, from September to November 2011, which ended with the departure of the first deployment of Madrid personnel in January 2012.

As NATO HQ, Force Command Madrid has contributed heavily and continues to be committed to the ISAF mission. Throughout the past year and until the middle of 2013, the headquarters personnel, composed of Officers, NCOs, soldiers and NATO civilians, have filled an important number of positions with the goal of securing a better future for Afghanistan. Deployments of personnel from the HQ have ranged from six to twelve months and Force Command Madrid has provided added value in many different branches, such as: Training, the rule of law and Civil Military Cooperation, among the others.