The Spanish Centre of Military Intelligence (CIFAS) visits SatCen
On 11 March 2021, a delegation of the Spanish Centre of Military Intelligence (CIFAS), visited SatCen. Director Sorin Ducaru and Alvaro Rodríguez, Head of Operations, welcomed the delegation headed by Brigadier General Javier Lopez de Turiso, the new Deputy Director of the Intelligence Support, and Coronel Emilio Jose Cortes, the new Head of the GeoINT Section.
This first visit of the newly appointed Brigadier General and Coronel served as an introduction to the work of the Centre and its capabilities.
Antonio Gamarra, Head of Training, and Alvaro Rodríguez, Head of Operations, briefed the delegation on current SatCen activities and capacities in support of stakeholders, specifically Spain as a Member State, one of the key users, and also the host country. The briefing evolved from a general overview of SatCen’s conceptual approach to GEOINT and IMINT, along with the methodologies and technological capabilities used (including AI) into a more specific discussion around the Centre’s support to ongoing operations such as IRINI and ATALANTA, whose latter OHQ (Operational HQ) is located in Spain (Rota). In addition to the briefing, the General visited the Operations Room, where he received a more detailed explanation of workflows, including image processing and quality control procedures.
FRONTEX and SEA were amongst the topics discussed during the visit, as well as the Centre’s business continuity and contingency plans to manage the COVID-19 situation.
The General was impressed by the activity carried out by SatCen, praising the professionalism and excellence that he perceived throughout the visit. This conclusion was further underlined by the two Majors accompanying him, who have worked in close collaboration with the Centre for various years.
Lastly, the General thanked SatCen for its effort in supporting EU Missions and Operations, as well as Spain, one of SatCen’s most notable direct users, and encouraged the Centre to keep up the good work and continue strengthening the collaboration with Spain and other Member States.
CIFAS is SatCen’s official operational Point of Contact (POC) with the Spanish Ministry of Defence (MOD). CIFAS is both responsible for requesting the Spanish tasking, as well as downloading all reports produced by the Centre and distributing them among the Spanish end-users.