July 21, 2024 | 11:11

Bizkaia

Spain at war. At what age should reservists join?

Jesus Carames

May 25, 2024 | 6:00 p.m.

More than 20 years have passed since Spain eliminated compulsory military service, the famous mili

The professionalization process of the Spanish army has led to more than 120.000 professionals. The transformation of the Spanish Armed Forces in the last two decades has been notable. Since the elimination of compulsory military service, known as the mili, in 2001, the Spanish army has undergone a process of professionalization that has resulted in a more prepared and efficient military body. Currently, Spain has more than 120.000 professionals who have received specific training to face various defense and security scenarios.

Amid instability in Europe and the Middle East, many countries are reassessing their defense strategies to respond to potential conflicts and ensure their armed forces can act effectively in emergencies.

Geopolitical tensions in Europe and the Middle East have led many countries, including Spain, to review and strengthen their defense policies. The possibility of an escalation of war makes it essential to be prepared for any eventuality. In this context, Spain has implemented mechanisms to ensure that its armed forces can respond effectively in crisis situations.

The Military Career Law and the reservist system in Spain guarantee the availability of personnel in crisis situations, including voluntary, specially available and mandatory reservists.

In Spain, the Military Career Law and Royal Decree 383/2011 establish a robust system for the incorporation of reservists in crisis situations. These reservists are divided into three main categories:

  1. Volunteer reservists: Citizens who register to support the Armed Forces in specific missions as provided in Organic Law 5/2005 of National Defense. To be a volunteer reservist, you must be over 18 years old and not older than 58 years for officers and non-commissioned officers, or 55 years for troops and sailors. In addition, it is necessary to have no criminal record and meet the conditions of physical and psychological fitness.
  2. Special availability reservists: Those who are in a special availability situation to be called upon in case of need.
  3. Mandatory reservists: Young people between 19 and 25 years old who can be mobilized in extreme situations when professional military personnel and other reservists are not enough to cover all defense needs.

The reservist activation procedure includes official notifications, publication in bulletins and direct contacts to ensure rapid mobilization

When it is decided to activate reservists, the Ministry of Defense issues an activation order that is communicated through official channels. This procedure includes:

  • Official notification: Reservists receive formal notification in writing or through official electronic means.
  • Publication in official bulletins: The activation order can be published in official bulletins of the Ministry of Defense.
  • direct contacts: In some cases, direct phone calls or emails are used to ensure rapid mobilization.

Once notified, reservists must go to the indicated meeting point and follow the instructions for their integration into the corresponding units.

The increase in military spending in Spain reflects the modernization of the armed forces and participation in international peace and security missions

In the European context, Spain has experienced a significant increase in its military spending. In 2023, Spanish military spending reached $23.700 billion, an increase of 9,8% compared to the previous year. This increase is part of a growth trend that has continued over the last decade, with a total increase of 42% in that period.

This increase in spending is allocated to various areas, including the acquisition and maintenance of military equipment, training and training of personnel, and cybersecurity. Furthermore, Spain actively participates in international peacekeeping and security missions, which also contributes to the need for a larger defense budget.

In comparison, Poland has recorded even more significant growth in its military spending, with a 75% increase between 2022 and 2023, reaching $31.600 billion. This growth reflects the importance that European countries are giving to the modernization and preparation of their armed forces in an increasingly complex geopolitical context.

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