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Cuartel General Terrestre de Alta Disponibilidad (CGTAD)


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The NATO Rapid Deployable Corps- Spain Headquarter (HQ NRDC-ESP) was certified as a Alliance deployable Joint Task Force Headquarter (JTF HQ) for Small Joint Operations-Land Heavy (SJO-L(H)) this past July the 1st 2014, being the first to do it amongst NATO Force Structure HQ,s. That very day started his stand-by period which will last until 30th of June of 2015. Hence, HQ NRDC-ESP was at NATO´s disposal to be activated if needed.
NRDC-ESP is permanently designed as maximum entity Land HQ, capable of command land Forces as big as the current Spanish army.
 His constitution as JTF HQ for Command and Control for SJO-L(H) implies three fundamental aspects:
- Decrease of the number of assigned Land forces.
- Assignment under his command Navy, Air force, Special Operations and Logistics assets.
- Maximum Military Authority within Theater of Operations.
The biggest challenge NRDC-ESP faced was being the first NATO Land HQ to internally transform, changing procedures and mindset. In other areas of expertise such as air and maritime, the procedures changes can be acquired more rapidly since they are strongly linked with the technology of their weapons systems, sensors, communications protocols, and so on, and the actuation environment itself: the sea and the air.
However, the land environment is not homogeneous and does not lay so much on technology (Afghanistan, Balkans, Lebanon) so it requires, therefore, changes of mindset and individuals-based procedures, what implies spend huge training time.
In his double condition of both NATO (NRDC-ESP) and just Spanish (CGTAD) Headquarter, all his capacities and experience earned in NATO environment are automatically transfer to Spanish Army.
With this Project the Armed Forces counts with:
- A Headquarter with the capacity of command a Small Joint Operation-Land Heavy (even with a bigger capacity than needed for French and UE Operations carried out in Mali, Central African Republic or in Somalia)
- A Headquarter which has endorsed the civilian knowledge (public workers + reservist + universities) through the implementation of the Comprehensive Approach concept, contributing absolutely to the “Culture of Defense”.
- This HQ keeps the capacity of being a Land Component Command (LCC)of an operation, with the maximum planning capability and direction of Spanish Armed Forces Land Operations.
- This HQ can offer this capacity to the EU, since until now, it has not got it.
- An improvement of the perception of Spanish Armed Forces within our allies, making a decisive contribution, therefore, to “Brand Spain”.


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. 


AFGHANISTAN deployment
As part of the NATO Long Term Rotation Plan, HQ NRDC-ESP was deployed in Afghanistan in 2012. Around 200 members of our staff joint the ISAF Joint Command Headquarters located next to Kabul International Airport. The mission was to coordinate at the operational level the units and regional commands of the International Security Assistance Force for Afghanistan. HQ NRDC-ESP COS, Major General Cabeza Taberné, became DCOM of IJC HQ while HQNRDC-ESP DCOS OPS, Brigadier General Antolín García took over responsibilities as the new Communication Director.


2011 was the year to prepare HQ NRDC-ESP deployment in ISAF Joint Command Headquarters in 2012.
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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 NRF-5 stand-by period, the HQ was deployed to Pakistan in a relief operation. Once the Pakistan operation was successfully concluded , the HQ returned to Bétera in January 06.



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 our permanent deployment capacity.


Exercise HAWK II was carried out in Zaragoza from the 17th to the 28th of November. During this exercise, the FOC (Full Operational Capability) evaluation was passed. When the evaluation was completed, the NATO evaluation team informed that the evaluation report would be totally positive.