Margarita Robles thanks the UME for their firefighting efforts this summer

Margarita Robles thanks the UME for their firefighting efforts this summer.

SPAIN’S Minister of Defence, Margarita Robles has given her thanks to the Military Emergency Unit (UME) for their efforts in tackling fires this summer

Margarita Robles, the Spanish Minister of Defence, visited the headquarters of the Military Emergency Unit (UME) in Torrejon, Madrid, on Monday, August 30, where, accompanied by the Secretary of State for Defense, Esperanza Casteleiro, she thanked them for their valiant firefighting efforts this summer.

On arrival at Torrejon, they were greeted by Lieutenant General Luis Manuel Martínez Meijide, the head of the UME, along with his second-in-command, Major General of the Air Force, Jose Manuel Cuesta, and the head of the Torrejon Air Base, Brigadier General of the Air Force, Pablo Guillen.

Ms Robles praised the UME for its work in helping to extinguish fires not only in national territory, but also in Greece and Turkey,  “very complicated fires, with burned tracts of land that are unparalleled, immense, and the work that the UME has done together with the 43 Group has been fundamental”, she stressed.

She also acknowledged their involvement in the installation in the Torrejon de Ardoz airbase, in record time, of the camp for the arrival of Afghans evacuated from Kabul, conveying her gratitude for, “the effort made to set up the camp in Torrejon, where the people who are arriving from Afghanistan are now staying. It was erected with great speed, perfectly designed”.

As reported by the Ministry of Defence, since the beginning of the campaign on June 15, teams and battalions of the UME and 43 Group have participated in the extinction of nine fires in the national territory, the most recent in Avila, La Palma, and La Rioja, and in two abroad, in Turkey and Greece, in the latter case under the European Emergency Response Mechanism (RescUE).

Around 3,000 UME military personnel, fire extinguishers operated by the 43rd Air Force Group, and four Army helicopters, are prepared to act if a fire breaks out anywhere in the national territory during the campaign, which ends on October 31, as reported by

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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