The Government announced this Monday that the Air Force will now become the "Air Force and the Space Army". The change has been adopted in the Council of Ministers prior to the NATO summit that Madrid will host this Wednesday and Thursday. The minister spokesperson, Isabel Rodríguez, explained that it is a "strategic commitment" by the Executive: "It is a matter of nomenclature but it is behind a strategic commitment of this Government for an important industry such as aerospace".
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With this, what the Executive seeks is "to make more visible the efforts that we are making from the Government to adapt all the devices and in this case the defense of our country to a new reality and the new challenges that we have before us", has continued the minister spokesperson.
Rodríguez explained that other countries have already taken steps in this direction, citing, for example, France, which also has an Air and Space Army, or the United States, which has a space force. “It is about reinforcing the Armed Forces, in this case the Air Force, to be able to monitor space and to also guarantee security and freedom of action in it in defense of national interests”, he indicated.
In this sense, he recalled that the National Security Strategy "referred to the need for Spain to strengthen our capabilities in this area" as well as the "commitment" to the aerospace industry in Spain and that is specified in a Strategic Plan in the matter, in addition to the start-up of the Spanish Space Agency.
“This sector is strategic for Spain”, the spokeswoman insisted, for its production, for the “ecosystem that it generates around it based on innovation and for the economic and labor market transformation” that it entails. The Ministry of Defence, for its part, has stressed that the name change reflects the new tasks that the Spanish air force is already carrying out.
“The growing importance of outer space in the aerospace field determines that the Armed Forces, and especially the Air Force, must be able to monitor space, guaranteeing its security and freedom of action in favor of national interests, which will require the development and progressive empowerment of space systems”, the department headed by Margarita Robles added in a statement.