Spanish Defence Minister visits SatCen on 5 Nov
On 5 November, the Spanish Defence Minister, Excma. Sra. Dña. Margarita Robles Fernández, visited SatCen. The Minister and her high-level delegation were welcomed by the SatCen Director, Ambassador Sorin Ducaru, the SatCen Deputy Director, Giuseppe D’Amico, and a team of experts.
Director Ducaru presented the Centre and its unique geospatial analysis mission of supporting the EU Member States and their foreign policy. Together with his team, the briefings included relevant examples of SatCen support to EU decision making and external action, including EU missions and operations, focusing on specific added-value provided to Spain and generally the European Security & Defence Policy.
The Deputy Head of Operations Division presented specific analysis cases, like support for the maritime Operation IRINI, or collaboration with different units within the Ministry of Defense, such as the UME or the Civil Guard. The SatCen staff also briefed on the close collaboration with companies in the Spanish technology sector and use of the PAZ radar satellite operated by Hisdesat.
The Head of IT Division continued with a summary of the development activity carried out at SatCen, including the different Artificial Intelligence projects.
Finally, the Head of the Space Monitoring and Surveillance Unit explained the space debris surveillance and collision alert service.
The Director and his team also presented a vision on SatCen’s future development, answering to the constantly growing demand and the fast-paced technological evolution.
Following the visit, Minister Robles stressed that the Centre’s work was "essential" for the EU and that it represented a sign of Spain's firm commitment to the European Union.
The Minister assured that "Spain is firmly committed" to European defence, an aspect she was in agreement with the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Mr Josep Borrell.
Spain has been SatCen´s host nation since the agency´s establishment in 1992, originally as an entity of the Western European Union (WEU), and has provided its support for the successful development into the current Centre with its specific operational mission.
To prepare for future challenges, Spain is also supporting the extension of the Centre´s building, as approved by the EU Member States, with construction to begin in the coming months.