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Air Force in Spain

The Day of the Patron Saint of the Air Force in Spain is celebrated on December 10, a special day in honor of all members of the Air Force.

The Spanish Air Force is one of the branches of the Spanish Armed Forces in charge of the defense and security of the country's airspace. It was officially established in 1939, shortly after the end of the Spanish Civil War, although its origins date back to 1913 with the creation of the Military Aeronautics Service.

The Air Force is of great importance in the defense of Spanish territory and in collaboration with other countries in international missions. Among its tasks are the surveillance of airspace, the defense of the national territory, the performance of search and rescue missions, the participation in international peacekeeping operations and the fight against terrorism, and the promotion of the aeronautical industry. Spanish.

Air Force Day is celebrated on December 10 in commemoration of the feast of the Immaculate Conception, patron saint of the Aviation Weapon. During this day, various activities are carried out in which the different units and air bases of the Air Force throughout the country participate. In addition, official ceremonies are held in which homage is paid to the fallen and those members of the Air Force who have stood out for their service and dedication are rewarded. Air exhibitions are also held and the air bases are opened to the public so that they can learn about the work of the members of the Air Force.

Origin of Air Force Day

The origin of the Spanish Air Force goes back to the creation of the Military Aeronautics Service in 1913, during the reign of Alfonso XIII. This service was created with the aim of providing the Spanish Army with its own air capacity for its defense and protection.

During the first years of its existence, the Military Aeronautics Service was developing its air capacity through the acquisition of aircraft and the training of specialized pilots and technicians. However, its development was cut short by the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, which forced Spain to maintain a policy of neutrality and limited the supply of aircraft and aerial technology.

After the end of the war, in 1918, Spain began to receive aircraft and air technology from allied countries, which allowed the Military Aeronautics Service to recover its operational capacity. However, the lack of a clear organization and structure in the Military Aeronautics Service hampered its development and operation.

It was in this context that on December 7, 1920, His Majesty King Alfonso XIII decided to sponsor Our Lady of Loreto to the Military Aeronautics Service, at the request of the Military Pro-Vicar General. The choice of Our Lady of Loreto as patron saint of the Military Aeronautics Service was due to the fact that in the Catholic tradition, this virgin is considered the patron saint of aviators and travelers.

Since then, Our Lady of Loreto has been a constant presence in the Spanish Air Force, being a source of spiritual support for all those who are part of the Air Force. The figure of the Virgin of Loreto has been used in numerous ceremonies and religious acts in which members of the Air Force who have fallen in the line of service have been honored.

In summary, the sponsorship of Our Lady of Loreto to the Military Aeronautics Service in 1920 marked a turning point in the history of the Spanish Air Force, allowing greater cohesion and development in its structure and operation. In addition, the presence of the Virgin of Loreto has been a constant in the lives of the members of the Air Force, offering spiritual support and a symbol of union for all those who are part of this institution.

What functions does the Air Force perform?

The Spanish Air Force is one of the branches of the Spanish Armed Forces, and its main functions are the defense and security of the country's airspace. The specific functions carried out by the Air Force in Spain are detailed below:

  1. Defense of airspace: The Air Force is responsible for the surveillance, control and defense of Spanish airspace. This involves the detection and monitoring of aircraft that enter Spanish airspace without authorization, as well as a rapid and effective response to any threat to airspace security.

  2. Support to the Armed Forces: The Air Force's main function is also to support the Armed Forces in the defense of the national territory. In this sense, the Air Force collaborates with other branches of the Armed Forces in joint military operations, providing air and logistic support.

  3. International operations: The Air Force also participates in international operations, both in peacekeeping missions and in humanitarian and relief operations in the event of natural disasters. In this sense, the Air Force contributes to the maintenance of security and stability in other parts of the world, and helps to guarantee international cooperation in security matters.

  4. Research and development: The Air Force also has the function of developing advanced aeronautical technologies and equipment to improve the capacity and effectiveness of air operations in the military field. In this sense, the Air Force makes significant investments in research and development to improve the operational capacity and efficiency of its units.

  5. Promote the aeronautical industry: The Air Force also has an important role in promoting the Spanish aeronautical industry, encouraging investment in advanced aeronautical technologies and supporting the development of new companies in this sector.

  6. Defend territorial integrity: The Air Force has the function of protecting and defending the territorial integrity of Spain. This implies the identification and neutralization of any threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Spain in the airspace.

  7. Guarantee the constitutional order: The Air Force is in charge of protecting and guaranteeing the Spanish constitutional order. This implies collaboration with other State institutions to guarantee the maintenance of the Rule of Law and institutional stability.

  8. Guarantee the sovereignty and independence of Spain: The Air Force has the function of guaranteeing the sovereignty and independence of Spain in the air field. This implies the protection of Spanish airspace from any external threat and the defense of national interests in the air field.

  9. Maintain international security, in peace operations and humanitarian aid: The Air Force also has the function of contributing to international security in peace operations and humanitarian aid in other countries. This implies participation in international missions to maintain peace and security in other countries and help in case of natural disasters and humanitarian crises.

In summary, the Spanish Air Force plays a crucial role in the defense and security of Spanish airspace, as well as in supporting the Armed Forces in the defense of the national territory and in international operations. In addition, the Air Force also contributes to the development of advanced technologies and equipment in the aeronautical field, and encourages investment in the Spanish aeronautical industry.

    Activities of the Air Force

    The Chief of the Air Staff presides over the celebration of the Patron Saint of the Air Force, Our Lady of Loreto, through various events at the headquarters, and later to review the training units and honors of the Air Force.

    There is also usually a tribute to the fallen, in honor of those who gave their lives for others and for Spain, and to look to the future in a hopeful way, knowing that although the road will not be easy, it must be full of challenges and of opportunities.

    The work and effort of all those who are part of the Air Force is revealed at the same time that all the dedication they put into their respective work every day is appreciated.

    A special mention is usually made for all those who are fulfilling their mission outside and usually far from Spain. Various acts are carried out full of recognition and appreciation for all of them.

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