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Activitats principals


In 2023, HQ NRDC-ESP was deeply involved in several training exercises showing our commitment both to NATO and Spain. Maintaining and improving our Warfighting Corps skills and capabilities acquired during 2022 was crucial for the headquarters.

The fourth edition of the seminar on NATO Emerging Concepts, organized by the HQ NRDC-ESP, was held in January 25 and 26 at the Army War College (Madrid).

In April, HQ NRDC-ESP again hosted the fourth edition of the NATO Information Environment Assessment Tiger Team in Valencia, underlining the paramount importance of the cognitive dimension and bringing together practitioners from a wide range of countries and organizations and institutions.

From 16 to 27 October, CGTAD/HQ NRDC-ESP conducted the exercise Valiant Lynx 23 deploying to both Marines (Valencia) and Szekesfehervar (Hungary).  During this exercise, new concepts were tested using state-of-the-art technology.  

On 17th November 2023, Major General Sergio Valente Marques was officially appointed as new Deputy Commander of the HQ NRDC-ESP, a position occupied by Portugal, taking over from outgoing Deputy Commander, Major General João Boga Ribeiro, in a parade held at the HQ premises.

Throughout the year, Commander visited the affiliated Portuguese and Greek Brigades, demonstrating the commitment to training.


On January 1stthe HQ NRDC-ESP began its stand-by period as Warfighting Corps of the Alliance. The designation for this new commitment is an exciting challenge and represents once again the strong commitment of Spain, and particularly the HQ NRDC-ESP, to the Alliance.

On 11 January, Spanish Army General (ChoA) Amador Enseñat y Berea inaugurated the CGTAD Historical Hall. This Historical Hall shows the presence of the Army in the Convent of Santo Domingo since the establishment of the headquarters of the “Capitanía General of Valencia” in 1842.

The HQ NRDC-ESP organized a seminar on NATO Emerging Concepts at the Army War College (Madrid) on February 15 and 16. The seminar analyzed the strategic environment and the threats identified by NATO, presenting new concepts under development to face them.

HQ NRDC-ESP, with the support of the Spanish Joint Headquarters (EMACON), hosted the NATO Conference on the Information Environment Assessment Tiger Team (NIEATT) in Valencia, from May 3 to 5. The meeting was organized by NATO HQ, Supreme Allied Command Europe (SHAPE) and NATO Allied Command Transformation (ACT).

His Majesty the King Felipe VI visited on May 25 the HQ NRDC-ESP, at the "Jaime I" base in Bétera where he was briefed about the structure and organisation of the HQ NRDC-ESP. Felipe VI had the opportunity to check the capabilities of the headquarters by visiting the deployable command posts, both the main and tactical, the operations centre and the situation centre, from where operations are controlled and monitored.

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Admiral Rob Bauer, Chairman of the Atlantic Alliance Military Committee, visited the HQ NRDC-ESP at its two locations in Valencia and Bétera, accompanied, among other authorities, by the Spanish Chief of Defence (ChoD), Admiral General Teodoro López Calderón.

The Cognitive Maneuver Seminar was held at the HQ NRDC-ESP facility in Bétera from September 19-23. It was given by the Operational Environment Integration Directorate of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command. 

On 11 October, Spanish and allied military personnel of HQ NRDC-ESP commemorated the 20th anniversary of the headquarters with a 20-kilometre march and a military parade in the presence of military representatives from the 12 countries that are currently members of the headquarters.

To conclude the year, Lieutenant General Fernando García-Vaquero Pradal, Commander HQ NRDC-ESP, handed over the NATO "Warfighting Corps" Guidon to Lieutenant General Levent Ergün, Commander HQ NRDC-T in Istanbul, Turkey.

Throughout 2022, HQ NRDC-ESP was on standby as NATO's headquarters for Warfighting Corps operations.


During 2021, HQ NRDC-ESP preparation and certification as Warfighting Corps (WFC) for 2022 was the main focus.

From April 19th to May 4th, a CPP (Corps Planning Process) took place with the aim of developing the tactical operations order for the Steadfast Leda 2021 exercise that would take place at the end of the year. This planning phase was carried out at the HQ NRDC-ESP facilities in the “Jaime I” military base in Bétera (Valencia). Response cells from both NATO and Spain units participated in the process.

One month later, the exercise Valiant Leda 2021 (VALE21) started. This exercise consisted of three separate Battle Staff Training (BSTs I, II and III) for the preparation of Steadfast Leda 2021.

From May 24th to 30th, a DEPLOYEX exercise was conducted simultaneously at the tactical esplanade of the Bétera, Marines and Paterna military bases. The aim was to test the transition from the main command post to tactical and alternate command posts.

From May 31th to June 4th, the HQ NRDC-ESP conducted its first BST of the VALE21 exercise, deploying in the Bétera military base. This BST I based in fictitious incidents to be resolved by the staff, was focused on training core processed and synchronizing the battle rhythm.

Activities 2021

From September 20th to 30th, HQ NRDC-ESP executed the VALE21 BST II with the aim of training in extended core processes and to complete the knowledge of the operational document in Bétera military base.

The BST III, previous to the WFC certification was divided in two parts. From 2nd to 4th November the first part took place at the HQ NRDC-ESP facilities with the aim of refining the battle rhythm and the operational procedures. The second part was conducted to refine core processes and finalize augmentees’ integration in Araca military base (Vitoria-Spain) 15 days later.

From November 18th to December 3rd, the HQ NRDC-ESP conducted the exercise “Steadfast Leda 2021” (STLE21) in Araca military base. The aim was to train, evaluate and support the certification of HQ NRDC-ESP as a NATO Warfighting Corps Headquarters. Over 800 troops from 17 different nations were deployed to be prepared for the future demanding role as WFC 2022. This exercise was supported by almost 50 experts from LANDCOM as an evaluation group based on Izmir (Turkey). The Exercise Control (EXCON) cell composed of more than 130 military personnel, was led by Joint Force Training Center (JFTC) from Bydgoszcz (Poland), except some elements in Vitoria (Spain).

On 2nd December the HQ NRDC-ESP was certified as WFC 2022 by Commander LANDCOM, Lieutenant General (US) Roger L. Cloutier. During the afternoon, a ceremony for the Transfer of Command between NATO Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) and NATO Rapid Deployable Corps-Spain Headquarters (NRDC-ESP), took place at the Araca military base. This made the new commitment of the HQ NRDC-ESP as NATO Warfighting Corps official for the coming year.


On January 1, 2020, the Headquarters NATO Rapid Deployable Corps Spain (HQ NRDC-ESP) begins its stand-by period as Joint Task Force Headquarters (Land Heavy) of the Alliance.

On January 8, 2020, Lieutenant General Fernando García-Vaquero takes command of the Headquarters NATO Rapid Deployable Corps Spain (NRDC-ESP) during a ceremony presided over by the Chief of the Spanish Army, General Francisco Javier Varela Salas. The ceremony is held at Jaime I Military Base in Bétera (Valencia).

On March 11th the World Health Organisation raises the emergency situation due to COVID-19 to pandemic. On March 14th, the Spanish Government declares the State of Alarm which meant strict measures to reduce the spread of the virus.

The Spanish Armed Forces were included in the response from the very beginning. On 12 March Operation Balmis kicked off with the activation of a Response Cell in the ESP Army General Staff. The CGTAD/NRDC-ESP began, in turn, its internal planning process by identifying military capabilities and by activating its NRDC-ESP Crisis Cell, as a 24/7 operations structure to assess and support the Commander, monitor the operation, and direct the subordinate Units. The CGTAD/NRDC-ESP and its subordinate Units were able to maintain their capabilities and a high readiness status to carry on with their commitment as a JTF HQ and fulfil any additional commitment related to the pandemic

Main activities 2020

The HQ NRDC-ESP conducts the exercise DEPLOYEX II/20 from the beginning of September in Bétera military base. The exercise starts with the deployment of the Initial Command Element (ICE) and the activation of the Situation Centre (SITCEN). This exercise is the culminating event in a series of activities in its JTF HQ (Joint Task Force Headquarters) role, prior to starting the preparation for its next commitment as Warfighting Corps. An important challenge for this exercise is to carry out a deployment that guarantees security conditions against COVID 19, maintaining the social distance and implementing a strict sanitary hygiene protocol.



From May 6 to 14, the High Readiness Force Land Headquarters (CGTAD in Spanish) conducts the JFX 19 exercise, organized and led by the Spanish Operations Command (MOPS). During the exercise the Headquarters deployed its main command post in Valencia. Around 1300 soldiers from the Spanish army, navy and air force participated in the exercise to test the Spanish Operations Command (MOPS) capability to command and control the land, maritime, air, special operations and cyber component commands. 

During September and October, the execution phase of the Trident Jackal 2019 exercise (TRJA19) takes place at the San Isidro military base (Menorca), where the HQ NRDC-ESP deploys its command post as JTF (Joint Task Force) Headquarters and its associated JLSG (Joint Logistic Support Group). The aim of this exercise was to evaluate the ability to lead a multi-national allied Joint Task Force with army, navy, air forcé and special operations elements as part of a small joint operation (land heavy) assigned by NATO to opérate in a designated area of operations. 

Trident Jackal 2019 exercise

The exercise Trident Jackal 2019 (TRJA19) came to an end after a 20 day deployment on Menorca Island. On October the 7th, the Headquarters NATO Rapid Deployable Corps Spain (HQ NRDC-ESP) succeeded in its evaluation to obtain the certification as Joint Task Force Headquarter (JTF HQ).


From May 20 to 28, the execution phase of the "Valiant Lynx 18" exercise is conducted, the largest and most important commitment of the Spanish Army with NATO during 2018. Valiant Lynx 18 exercise is organized and led by the HQ NRDC-ESP from Chinchilla training area. Around 5000 soldiers are deployed mainly in Chinchilla (Albacete) and San Gregorio (Zaragoza) training áreas.

Valiant Lynx 18 exercise consists on two phases, a computer-assisted exercise (CPX), and another phase LIVEX with real deployment of forces in San Gregorio. The XII Brigade Guadarrama of the San Marcial Division with Leopard 2E tanks and Pizarro armoured vehicles, with helicopters from the Army Aviation unit (FAMET) and fighters of the Spanish Air Force are the main assets deployed in San Gregorio.

VALIANT LYNX 18 Exercise

From June 20 to 27. the High Readiness Force Land Headquarters (CGTAD in Spanish) participates in the JFX MOPEX 18 exercise as the Land Component Command deploying its main Command Post.
The JFX MOPEX 18 is a CPX exercise (computer assisted exercise) based on component commands to train the operational structure of the Spanish Armed Forces and certify the Full Operational Capability of the Spanish Operations Command (MOPS  in Spanish).
MOPEX 18 Exercise


From 17th to 18th of October, the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps - Spain Headquarters (HQ NRDC-ESP) hosts a new edition of the Land Command Corps Commanders´ Conference (LC3) in Valencia. 

This conference, organized by Allied LANDCOM, was supported by the HQ NRDC-ESP. These semi-annual conferences are hosted by the Alliance Headquarters within Europe on a rotational basis and this time the city of Valencia was designated to host it. Being chaired by Lieutenant General Darryl A. Williams, Commander Allied Land Command (LANDCOM), it brought together Corps Commanders and leaders from the NCS for collaboration, development and refinement of NATO’s land strategy. In particular, the shared objective for the 11th edition of this forum was to develop the land adaptation strategy using the theme ‘Command and Control: How we fight’. 

LC3 Conference 

From November 3 to 18, around 100 military personnel of the HQ NRDC-ESP participated in the TRIDENT JAVELIN 17 exercise (TRJN17) held at the facilities of the Joint Warfare Center (JWC) in Stavanger (Norway). The aim of this exercise was the certification of the Allied Land Command (LANDCOM in its acronym in English) of the Command Structure of NATO as a Land Component Command. 

From the NRDC-ESP Headquarters, a simulated multinational Army Corps Command Post was deployed in Stavanger. TRIDENT JAVELIN 17 Exercise


Spain commits with the NATO allies to contribute with the Land Component Command (LCC) of the new enhanced NATO Response Force (eNRF), improving its capabilities, availability and deployment time based on the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps - Spain  Headquarters (HQ NRDC-ESP in its acronym in English) of Bétera, and also providing the Brigade "Galicia VII" with a battalion as a spearhead and able to deploy in 48 hours, which could be added another 4 multinational battalions.

As a result of this commitment, the HQ NRDC-ESP as the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) of the NATO Response Force, performs the exercises BRILIANT JUMP 16 and VALLIANT FALCON 16 deploying in Poland, and putting into practice the demanding criteria of this new concept VJTF.

Deployment in Poland 


At the end of the year, the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps - Spain Headquarters (HQ NRDC-ESP) held the TRIDENT JUNCTURE 2015 exercise deploying its Command Post to the "General Ricardos" Base in Zaragoza (Spain).

The exercise, which was played from the 3rd October to the 6th of November in different locations of Spain, Italy and Portugal, had two phases.

The first phase, from the 3rd to the 16th of October, was a Command Post Exercise  to certify the enhanced NATO Response Force for 2016 (eNRF 2016). The second one, from the 21st of October to the 6th of November, was a Joint Combined Military Operation carried out by land, air and sea, overarched by NATO Connected Forces Initiative (CFI) to guarantee the interoperability of NATO units.

During the exercise, the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force concept (VJTF) will also be experienced. In 2016, a Spanish Brigade and various Battalions of allied nations will lead the VJTF under the command of HQ NRDC ESP, located in Bétera (Valencia).

NATO Rapid Deployable Corps (HQ NRDC-ESP) was certified as Land Component Command of the new NATO Response Force 2016.

 TRIDENT JUNCTURE 15 Certification

US General John Nicholson – Allied Land Component Command in Izmir (Turkey) - as Chief of the Evaluation Team, Czech Republic General Stephan Kaleta as SHAPE representative and the Lieutenant General Comas, NRDC-ESP Commander, sign the certification. 


The NATO Rapid Deployable Corps - Spain Headquarters (HQ NRDC-ESP) carried out the TRIDENT JAGUAR 14 exercise to be certified as the first deployable Joint Task Force Headquarters (JTF HQ) for Small Joint Operations-Land Heavy (SJO-L(H)) at the NATO Force Structure. 

The exercise was held in Menorca island (Spain) in May.

TRIDENT JAGUAR 14 exercise 



The NATO force structure was enhanced by the new strategic concept which was defined in the NATO Summit held in Lisbon in 2010. The consequences of the summit were the reduction of the NATO Command structured and the more robust role given to the NATO Force Structure. Spain decided to offer HQ NRDC-ESP to lead the certification process to become the first Joint Task Force Headquarters for land heavy operations (JTF (L) HQs) in NATO. This certification process gave HQ NRDC-ESP the opportunity to put in value the operational experience gained in Afghanistan as part of the IJC HQs. HQ NRDC-ESP experienced the complexity of the new challenge during exercise HIREX 13 that took place in June. 

 HIREX 13 exercise


As part of the NATO Long Term Rotation Plan, HQ NRDC-ESP was deployed in Afghanistan. Around 200 members of the staff deployed to the ISAF Joint Command Headquarters in Kabul.

The mission was to coordinate the military units and the regional commands of the International Security Assistance Force for Afghanistan at the operational level. HQ NRDC-ESP COS, Major General Cabeza Taberné, became DCOM of IJC HQ while HQ NRDC-ESP DCOS OPS, Brigadier General Antolín García took over responsibilities as the new Communication Director.

ISAF deployment 


During this year, the HIREX 11 exercise was carried out in order to prepare HQ NRDC-ESP deployment in ISAF Joint Command Headquarters in 2012.


From the 8th to the 14th of May 2010, the HQ NRDC-SP carried out the exercise SPEARHEAD 10 in Bétera Military Base (Valencia). SPEARHEAD 10 was a command post exercise, aiming at training and validating the HQ NRDC-SP as a EUROPEAN BATTLEGROUP HQ (EUBG 2010/2) for the stand-by period during the second semester as EU Response Force. The objective of the exercise was to train, validate and improve procedures for the deployment of the HQ NRDC-SP as Force Headquarters within the context of an EU Crisis Response Operation.

During the second semester, the NRDC SP HQ led the EUROPEAN BATTLEGROUP PACKAGE (EUBG 2010/2). In the stand-by period, the HQ remained ready to deploy within the context of European Union.



The Spanish NRDC HQ led the 12th NATO Response Force Land Component Command during the first semester of 2009. During this time period, the headquarters remained ready to deploy within five days.
During the month of November, HALBERD 09 exercise was carried out in Igries, Huesca (Spain),
HALBERD 09 exercise 


Firstly, the NOBLE LIGHT 08 exercise was carried out in San Gregorio training área (Zaragoza) on October. One month later, the STEADFAST JOINER 08 exercise took place in the HQs premises in order to be evaluated, certified and validated as Land Component Command of the NATO Response Force (NRF-12).

 NOBLE LIGHT 08 exercise



The HQ NRDC-ESP led the 5th NATO Response Force (NRF) during the second semester of the year.
During the NRF-5 stand-by period and as a result of the devastating earthquake that took place on October 8th, in the Pakistani region of Kashmir, the NRDC-ESP was deployed to Pakistan as NRF, in a relief operation till January 6th, 2016.
NRF-5 Activation



The HALCON VIII exercise took place as a training exercise to prepare the HIREX 04 exercise. From Oxtober to November, the HIREX 04 exercise was carried out in San Gregorio (Zaragoza) training area in order to be certified as NATO Response Force. 

HIREX 04 Exercise 


In January, Allied Supreme Commander in Europe, Lieutenant General Joseph Ralston, sent the report which certified that this HQ fulfilled all the criteria to become a High Readiness Land Force HQ.
HIREX 03 exercise was carried out in Mallorca from the 13th to the 26th of October. It was the most important exercise performed till that moment. The staff, assets and means were deployed to Mallorca to improve its permanent deployment capacity.
HIREX 03 Exercise


The exercise HAWK II was carried out in Zaragoza from the 17th to the 28th of November. During this exercise, the NRDC-ESP Headquarters  was evaluated according to NATO standards, and FOC (Full Operational Capability) was overcome.

 HAWK II Exercise