Defending continues to activate military units within the call ‘Balmis operation‘ from fight coronavirus. First has been the Military Emergency Unit (UME), since it is deployed in fourteen places; then came the pre-alert situation for all professionals in the Armed Forces, active or in reserve; and now the mobilization has reached the elite unitto Third of Navy of the Marine Corps. Its professionals are prepared.
Prepared to be enlisted in less than 4 hours. This is the instruction received by around a hundred troops from the Third Army in the town of San Fernando, in Cadiz. As you have been able to know Information through Defense sources, these military must be located at your home, with the duffel bag prepared and sufficient clothing on it for the functions that may be required of them.
The pre-alert affects a company. Vehicles have also been prepared, with their respective drivers. So much Vamtac how Nissan. At this time, the Armed Forces, through the UME, are carrying out control and disinfection tasks in different Spanish cities, especially in Madrid, where more than half of the infected population is concentrated.
The sources consulted add that it is not the first time that the Marines are mobilized by the Government. Remember the case of 2004, when 150 soldiers from the Third Army were mobilized to monitor the AVE tracks on the route between Cordoba and Seville. This detachment, coordinated by the Ministries of Defense and Interior, sought to avoid ETA attacks on the high-speed route.
‘Operation Balmis‘. It is the name of the special display that the Government has launched to face the coronavirus crisis. The Armed Forces are activated throughout the country and are preparing to take to the streets also in the cities of Catalonia and the Basque Country. These are new “high-impact” measures approved by the Government at the meeting of the monitoring committee this Monday morning in light of the epidemic’s progress.
The data is overwhelming. there is already more than 9,000 cases, more than half in Madrid. The increase in the last 24 hours has been about 1,000 cases. There are 3,215 hospitalized citizens and 410 in the ICU, the majority also in Madrid. 309 deaths and 521 discharges have already been registered. Regarding the profile of those infected, the Government is collecting the data and will offer it in the next few hours.
The name of the ‘operation Balmis’ that has just been activated is due to Francisco Javier Balmis, a Spanish military doctor who was an honorary surgeon at the court of King Carlos IV, according to sources in the Ministry of Defense. He was known for what he did in the Spanish colonies in America and the Philippines, which took the smallpox vaccine in an action that is considered heroic.
The chief of the Defense General Staff (JEMAD), General Villarroya, has been clear about the military deployment in Catalonia and the Basque Country and has stated that the Armed Forces, especially the Emergency Military Unit (UME), will work in these autonomous communities as they are already doing in other territories.
The government has also decided reestablish controls the land borders of Spain to slow down the progression of the coronavirus. As reported by the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, from Moncloa, only the citizens with Spanish nationality, residents, transporters and accredited diplomatic personnel. The totally extreme measure does not affect transport by air or sea, at least for the moment.
As Marlasla has announced, the border closure takes effect from 00.00 hours and will remain until the alarm state ends. During that time only the aforementioned citizens will be allowed to pass. The Government studies that the military participate in this border closure. All state security bodies will be responsible for complying with this order, both national and autonomous in Catalonia, the Basque Country and Navarra. The measure, incidentally, does not affect the borders of Gibraltar and Andorra.