During the trip CSM Saliste held discussions with Admiral General Lopez, CSM Martinez along with the CSEL's from Spain's Army, Navy and Air Force on the progress of the Spanish Non-commissioned officers (NCO) corps as well as how to improve the corps to meet and match Alliance standards for what the 'modern NCO' looks like.
"In the Spanish Armed Forces, they're making great strides forward with their CSEL and NCO systems to use their greatest assets, their people, more effectively," said CSM Saliste. "Building on their capabilities, improving educational opportunities all lead to enhanced readiness. Across the Alliance we are noticing the professionalism of the Spanish NCOs who are doing excellent work on many NATO exercises and operations."
CSM Martinez, who serves as the first-ever CSEL of the Spanish Armed Forces, and his team of CSELs welcomed the discussions and challenges set forth by CSM Saliste.
"Visits such as these and face to face communication are some of our greatest tools which is why, even though we have seen the challenges of the pandemic over the past two years, it is more important than ever to continue a collective dialogue amongst Allies and teammates," said CSM Martinez. "Learning from one another and sharing each other's experiences not only provides a huge benefit for the Spanish Forces but for NATO as well."
Spain became NATO's sixteenth Allied nation in 1982 and will soon celebrate their fortieth anniversary in the Alliance by hosting the 2022 NATO Summit in Madrid in June.
Since joining the Alliance, Spain has been an active contributor to a multitude of missions and operations across all warfighting domains; notably supporting NATO's enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Latvia, NATO Mission Iraq, Baltic Air Policing, NATO's Ballistic Missile Defence System and many major exercises this year including Steadfast Defender and Cyber Coalition.