The European Union Satellite Centre was honoured to host His Majesty the King on a special visit to SatCen headquarters on 11 May 2023. It was the King’s first visit as Head of State and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces to the Centre, coinciding with 30 years since the start of SatCen’s operational activities.
The King received a comprehensive briefing from the Centre’s Director, Ambassador Sorin Ducaru, who highlighted SatCen’s crucial role in the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), as well as its broader contribution to the EU’s efforts in various areas. Director Ducaru also noted that SatCen was the first European agency located in Spain, expressing his full appreciation for the support that Spain as a host nation provides to the Centre. This was also demonstrated by the presence of the Spanish Government at today’s visit, represented by H.E. Minister Robles, the Spanish Minister of Defence.
Following the Director’s presentation, the SatCen Head of Operations provided an overview of the Centre’s operational priorities, showcasing SatCen’s unwavering commitment to serving the EU’s security interests. The Head of Information Technology then gave a brief on current developments in IT and AI, underscoring the Centre’s continuous efforts to enhance technological capabilities.
After the presentations, the King and his delegation moved to the operations room, where analysis experts presented their work, highlighting the significant contributions their analyses provide to the EU’s security missions on a daily basis. The Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) team also briefed His Majesty on their crucial role in monitoring and analysing space objects, ensuring the safety and security of space activities.
In a momentous event, the King unveiled SatCen’s anniversary plaque, marking the Centre’s achievements and continued commitment to the EU’s security interests. His Majesty took the time to interact with SatCen staff, showing his appreciation for their dedication and professionalism.
The visit was a significant milestone for SatCen, and the Centre is honoured to have had the opportunity to showcase its crucial role in the EU’s security architecture to His Majesty. The King’s visit will undoubtedly remain a cherished memory for the SatCen staff, who will continue to work tirelessly towards the Centre’s mission of providing valuable satellite-based services to the EU’s security and defence efforts.
In the words of His Majesty, the King of Spain, “Once again, I have the pleasure of visiting this EU SatCen just as it has reached and celebrated its 30th anniversary. I observe its constant dedication to enhancing its capabilities and the quality of its products and analysis, generating greater effectiveness for our common European external action, as well as that of each member state of the Union. It also generates increased and valuable trust in obtaining the reliable and relevant information necessary for making decisions, both in the short term and in urgent and strategic matters. Congratulations to everyone for the excellent work. It is a source of pride for Spain to have this Center on our territory, at the Torrejon Air Base in Madrid“.
More information: Satcen